<< Venise Berry: Colored Sugar Water >>

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Praise for Colored Sugar Water:

"It superbly dealt with black spirituality from the organized church and religion to voodoo and fortune telling..."

"...entertaining...those who like their romance weighted with otherworldly significance will find plenty to satisfy them here."
Publishers Weekly

"A rich and quirky flavor sets it apart from other tales
about the travails of sistah friendship."
Black Issues Book Review

"...sexy, soulful and heartwarming..."
Houston Style Magazine

"With extreme emotion, passion and a few twists and turns, Berry offers a very thought-provoking, intriguing and moving novel..."
BlackBoard Times


Colored Sugar Water

   Colored Sugar Water introduces Lucinda Marie Merriweather and Adel Kelly who both take unique spiritual journeys. Lucy is thirty-five, single and in great shape thanks to her career as a fitness manager for a string of Texas health clubs. Adel is the vice president for human resources at American Oil pulling in a six-figure salary and large bonuses. Unfortunately neither is happy.

    Lucy believes in everything from fortune telling and hoodoo to God's grace and the power of prayer. Her boyfriend, Spencer is a basic kind of guy who loves his mama, sports, fried chicken and Lucy in that order. When Lucy becomes less than satisfied with Spencer, she invites a Sexy Soul Psychic named Kuba into her life. Self assured and sensitive, Kuba seems to be exactly what Lucy wants or is he?

   When it comes to spirituality, Adel tells her best friend Lucy that she really doesn't know what to believe. Her family didn't go to church every Sunday, so she has never understood the need for religion. Struggling with her husband, Thad, who refuses to grow up and a job that values big business over humanity, Adel eventually discovers how the power of faith can change her life.

   Filled with the humor, passion and pathos of modern relationships, Colored Sugar Water tells the story of two women who ultimately discover the power of their unique spiritual gifts. There is one question you will need to answer for yourself when you finish reading this book - What do you believe and why?


Book Club Discussion Questions

1. In the beginning of the novel the reader is told about a re-occurring dream where Lucy is running from someone or something that she cannot see. What is the significance of the dream, and does it foreshadow events later in the novel? In what other ways can this dream be interpreted?

2. What is the significance of the symbol found both in Kuba’s apartment as well as on Birch’s arm? What does the symbol represent?

3. In the novel, Lucy appears hesitant to acknowledge the importance of Spencer and their relationship. She also seems to deny the love she feels for him. Why is Lucy hesitant to love Spencer and what allows her to finally acknowledge it?

4. Lucy’s relationship with Spencer is described as convenient twice during the novel; does this hold true? Why or why not?

5. Besides his seductive voice, what pulls Lucy towards Kuba? At what point in the novel does Lucy realize how wrong this relationship is? Does she ever get over Kuba?

6. With the exception of Kuba, could it be argued that the male characters in this novel seem spiritually weak in comparison to their female counterparts? Do they change as the women do, and if so, what will this mean for Adel and Lucy?

7. Venise Berry created two very strong female characters. Throughout the novel are Lucy and Adel exposed to situations where they are shown as weak? What do these situations teach the characters and show us, the readers? What enables these two women to over come their weaknesses?

8. According to the story what is the difference between Voodoo and Hoodoo? When it comes to your own religion and spirituality what do you believe and why?

9. Lucy and Adel are very different women. Which character do you relate to? How are you similar/ different from this character? Would you have handled certain situations differently?

10. Faith is a re-occurring theme in COLORED SUGAR WATER. How do both women deal with their faith in the novel? During the course of the novel do their positions change? How so? Thad and Adel name their daughter Faith; is this a statement for Adel alone or for the novel as a whole? What else could the child’s name symbolize?

11. The first and last chapters of this book describe Lucy making her iced tea. What do the ingredients in her iced tea represent? What is the importance of closing the novel with this image of the sugar mixing with the water and the iced tea? Why is it called “colored sugar water”?

Copyright 2002 Berry Books
Developed by: Canteen Publishing Group