The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl Spiral-Bound |

Marra B. Gad

★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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The debut memoir by Marra B. Gad, a mixed-race Jewish woman who chooses to help her racist, abusive, estranged Great-Aunt Nette after she develops Alzheimer’s, a disease that slowly erases Nette’s prejudices, allowing Marra to develop at last a relationship with the woman who shunned her in youth.

Winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Award in Autobiography/Memoir, The Color of Love is an unforgettable memoir about a mixed-race Jewish woman who, after fifteen years of estrangement from her racist great-aunt, helps bring her home when Alzheimer’s strikes.

In 1970, three-day-old Marra B. Gad was adopted by a white Jewish family in Chicago. For her parents, it was love at first sight—but they quickly realized the world wasn’t ready for a family like theirs.

Marra’s biological mother was unwed, white, and Jewish, and her biological father was black. While still a child, Marra came to realize that she was “a mixed-race, Jewish unicorn.” In black spaces, she was not “black enough” or told that it was OK to be Christian or Muslim, but not Jewish. In Jewish spaces, she was mistaken for the help, asked to leave, or worse. Even in her own extended family, racism bubbled to the surface.

Marra’s family cut out those relatives who could not tolerate the color of her skin—including her once beloved, glamorous, worldly Great-Aunt Nette. After they had been estranged for fifteen years, Marra discovers that Nette has Alzheimer’s, and that only she is in a position to get Nette back to the only family she has left. Instead of revenge, Marra chooses love, and watches as the disease erases her aunt’s racism, making space for a relationship that was never possible before.

The Color of Love explores the idea of yerusha, which means "inheritance" in Yiddish. At turns heart-wrenching and heartwarming, this is a story about what you inherit from your family—identity, disease, melanin, hate, and most powerful of all, love. With honesty, insight, and warmth, Marra B. Gad has written an inspirational, moving chronicle proving that when all else is stripped away, love is where we return, and love is always our greatest inheritance.
Publisher: Ingram Publisher Services
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 157284275X
Item Weight: 0.44 lbs
Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
Praise for Marra B. Gad’s The Color of Love:

Winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Award in Autobiography/Memoir presented by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association

"In The Color of Love, Gad tells her story in straightforward, unadorned prose. . . . The reader is left to marvel at Gad's magnanimity. In the face of a lifetime of racially motivated aggression, she consistently chooses love."Jerusalem Post

"This beautiful memoir will stay with readers long after the last page is turned."The Reporter

"Offers a Jewish mode of love. . . Institutions have much to learn from reading The Color of Love." —

"An easy narrative on a complicated experience. It is a deeply personal story through which the author has shared a perspective that is seldom told."Jewish Book Council

"In beautiful, fearless prose, Gad tells a story...that is alternately heart-wrenching and heartwarming." JUF News

"Gad's message about resisting hate is solid. . . . [An] honest memoir about looking beyond hate to find some semblance of peace on the other side."Kirkus Reviews

"The Color of Love provides a much needed voice to this space in society today. But maybe even more than this, Marra's story serves as a reminder, a guide for all of us, from all backgrounds, to choose love. Always."Glassworks

"Marra's journey to unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion in the face of hate and rejection is nothing short of miraculous."—Tina Alexis Allen, author of Hiding Out

“Marra B. Gad’s The Color of Love is a timely and touching memoir of a biracial girl adopted by a Jewish family. It is a story of her ‘awakening’ to the inherent pressures of being black and female in a white world, pressures that are compounded by being adopted and raised in a white Jewish culture. Her pursuit to live a life of love in a world of racial, religious, and anti-feminist hate and bigotry was a continuous battle toward finding her soul. For a good life-affirming read, I highly recommend The Color of Love.”—Ron Stallworth, New York Times–bestselling author of Black Klansman

“An astonishing and important story, memorably told, with lessons that reach across race, religion, and culture.”—David Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and author of David: The Divided Heart

“Marra B. Gad’s is a compelling story, beautifully and authentically written, about her life as a mixed-race Jewish girl adopted by a white Chicago family in the ’70s. The compassion, patience, and caring required of anyone in Marra’s position is exquisitely demonstrated in this book: it has a lot to teach us.”—Jane Wolf Frances, social worker, psychologist, and author of Parenting Our Parents: Transforming the Challenge into a Journey of Love

The Color of Love by Marra B. Gad is a book I wish had existed when I was a young Iraqi immigrant in Kentucky trying to make sense of my own ‘otherness.’ But whereas I spent my youth working to correctly pronounce my r’s so I sounded American or being called Mexican because Iraq was not yet a household word, Gad was confronting flat-out racism from her own relatives. Her unflinching account of these inconceivable experiences is balanced with compassion and an empathy for those who judge her. And that makes her a total badass.”—Ayser Salman, author of The Wrong End of the Table

“With humor, tears, and most of all, searing honesty, Marra Gad takes us inside her world, the world of a mixed-race Jew who knows both a family’s boundless devotion and the daily indignities—and worse—of those who cannot see past their prejudice. Faced with the ultimate dilemma, she draws on love, the force that single-handedly carried her through the peaks and valleys of a challenging yet full and happy life. Her story of choosing grace and generosity in the most unimaginable moments holds lessons for us all.”—Daniel Shapiro, former ambassador of the United States to Israel

“This is not a story you’ve heard before. I was blown away by how engrossed I became in The Color of Love and was compelled to find out what happens next to the book’s heroine and author in this true story. Gad’s fresh voice manages to bring the reader into her heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking, and often comedic journey, resulting in a memorable page-turner that you will not want to end.”—Rosa Blasi, actress and author of Jock Itch

“I read The Color of Love in just a few sittings and was always eager to dive back into Marra Gad’s dramatic, fascinating memoir. Marra’s tale of caring for her elderly aunt who rejected her throughout her life is a story about choices—deciding in times of duress, often to our own surprise, exactly the kind of person we want to be. Marra Gad had ever reason to never see or speak to her aunt again—Nette had been cruel and racist—thoroughly and publicly rejecting Marra for being mixed race. Yet at the end of Nette’s life, Marra decides, step-by-step and month-by-month, to step in so Nette can have a life with dignity as Alzheimer’s and a cruel conservator strip her of everything that once mattered to her. Having had a mother die with Alzheimer’s disease, I was captivated by Marra’s brave, honest story. A powerful story of love chosen, not deserved.” —Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal and The Burning Light of Two Stars
Marra B. Gad was born in New York and raised in Chicago. She is an independent film and television producer and now calls Los Angeles home.

Ms. Gad is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a master’s degree in modern Jewish history from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University.