The Color Of Your Skin Ain’t The Color Of Your Heart

Sunday, September 7, 2014
We knew we were facing a crossroads. If we didn’t do something, and soon, our little game of trying to make this plantation work by ourselves would be over. People would take us away and all four of us would go our separate ways. There was just about nothing in the world I hated more than picking cotton. But for some reason now I was almost looking forward to it. Having it be our own cotton, and knowing we had to do it to survive and keep going and eat and take care of ourselves and to protect Emma and William and save Rosewood for Katie – all that made it seem completely different.

Book:The Color of Your Skin Ain't the Color of Your Heart by Michael Phillips, Bethany House Publishers, 2004
14222EB: Color of Your Skin Ain"t the Color of Your Heart, The - eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 16+
Subjects: Civil War, Slavery, Friendship, Faith, Prayer
Summary: They never dreamed he, of all people, would pay them a visit. And they certainly never dreamed his visit would change everything she believed about herself! When Katie’s Uncle Templeton stops by Rosewood to visit his sister, he finds her dead, along with his brother-in-law and nephews. His niece, along with a colored girl who seem strangely familiar, is running the plantation and caring for 3 other blacks and a little white girl! Katie is thrilled to see her uncle. She barely knows him, but she is thankful just to see a family member that is alive! Mayme is hesitant but accepts that things will change now that Katie has an adult family member who knows the truth. Except for, nothing does change. One morning they wake up and find a note telling them her uncle has left again! When he returns he has news. It seems he was once in love with Mayme’s mama and Mayme is his daughter! Still not ready for the responsibility, he takes off again though, this time leaving the girls vulnerable to the maurders and other troublemakers who have come hunting for him and his brother and some gold left by his brother. The girls felt danger from the townspeople taking the plantation but these men want to take their lives!
Notes: The Color Of Your Skin Ain’t The Color Of Your Heart is the third in the Shenandoah Sisters series. The series tells how two 16 year old girls survive after the Massacre of Shenandoah County – where a gang of outlaw Confederate deserters killed a bunch of people. In this story, everyone on the two plantations they live on is killed. Mayme mindlessly wanders away and finds herself at Katie’s plantation just as Katie comes up from the cellar she hid in. The two girls stick together out of necessity for a couple of day and become close friends. Towards the end of the book they make the decision to fool people into believing Katie’s family is still alive.
This book continues the story as the girls’ secret gets out when an uncle shows up at Rosewood. It really deals with identity as Mayme has to question who she is when she learns her father is white.  The spiritual issues are very connected to that as Mayme has to learn how little the color of her skin actually matters. A wise friend tells her that “the color of your heart was the most important thing in all of life. Was it dark and full of mean and selfish and unkind things? Or was your heart light and pink and warm and full of kind and unselfish things? Someday, maybe not till we died, everything that was on the outside would fall away and what color your skin was and where you lived and what people thought about you and how much money you had… none of that would matter because no one would see it anymore. The only thing they would be able to see was the color of your heart.” The girls learn to look at their decisions in terms of whether or not they are right or wrong, selfish or kind, and what God would have them do.
The suspense of the story is continuing to build as tensions in the south increase after the Civil War.
As with the others in the series, prejudice is greatly dealt with. This one really looks at it from the insider perspective as Mayme wrestles with who she is and how much the color of her skin or the color of her parents’ skin matters.
I highly recommend this series.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Galatians 5:13 – You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.


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