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Extended Audio Sample The Color of Lightning, by Paulette Jiles Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (491 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paulette Jiles Narrator: Jack Garrett Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Meticulously researched and beautifully crafted.... This is glorious work.” — Washington Post

“A gripping, deeply relevant book.” — New York Times Book Review

 From Paulette Jiles, author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Enemy Women and Stormy Weather, comes a stirring work of fiction set on the untamed Texas frontier in the aftermath of the Civil War. One of only twelve books longlisted for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize—one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards—The Color of Lightning is a beautifully rendered and unforgettable re-examination of one of the darkest periods in U.S. history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A gripping, deeply relevant book.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] meticulously researched and beautifully crafted story…this is glorious work.” 

    Washington Post

  • “Jiles writes like she owns the frontier, and in this multifaceted, riveting and full of danger novel, she does.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Jiles never reduces her cast of characters to stock stereotypes, tackling a traumatic and tragic episode in American history with sensitivity and assurance.” 


  • “Garrett’s sympathetic attention and unflagging skill are a perfect match for Jiles’ marvelous invention.” 


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, July 2009
  • Selected for the April 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/16/2014

    " Fascinating story of a newly-freed black family that moves to Texas in 1863. It's based on a real family. The wife and two children are kidnapped by Native Americans, and the husband rescues them 8 months later. The author does a fantastic job of exploring the moral ambiguities in the relationship between settlers (especially black settlers since their ancestors were brought to the U.S. against their will) and Native Americans. Now I am interested in her other books as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Candace Hinkle | 1/31/2014

    " If you like historical fiction this is a must read. It is based on a true story of the wild and wooly early frontier days in Texas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mary | 1/31/2014

    " In this book, Paulette Jiles opened my eyes to what it was like for the Indians during the period following the Civil War and actually during the whole period when the government was trying to resettle them. I had,up to this time, heard more about what the Indians did to the settlers who came to their land. Jiles does share accounts of the atrocities visited on the white settlers by the Indians in this area of Texas. However we also see the Indian side and for me anyway this was enlightening. I don't know how the whole Indian situation could have been handled better but surely there must have been some way. This is a book worth reading and thinking about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by renukar | 1/30/2014

    " About the 'wild west'. Not my favorite type of fiction. But a few pages in, was completely hooked. "

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