Marilynn Griffith 

Marilynn Griffith is a freelance writer and the author of eight novels. Her upcoming Rhythms of Grace (Revell, August 2008) looks at race and faith through the eyes of a group of friends tied together by the beat of a drum and an old woman’s words. Visit her at or contact her at marilynngriffith[at] to book speaking engagements, talk books, or just say hello.

The Color of Love

Summer is blooming and romance is the air. Political intrigue and racial dialogue are blowing around, too. In Christian fiction, readers get a wonderful taste of race and relationships in Claudia Mair Burney’s new release, Zora and Nicky (David C. Cook, April 2008). Described as what might happen if Jerry Falwell’s son fell in love with Creflo Dollar’s daughter, this book brings Christian readers of all backgrounds face-to-face with the humanity and hurt so often involved in interracial love. As I closed the final pages on the novel, I couldn’t help but think of the “beloved community” Martin Luther King, Jr., preached so passionately about. Though it may have been only in the pages of Burney’s novel, for a few hours I felt as though I truly belonged to the group King envisioned.

For all those who say that Christian fiction is unrealistic or too sappy, Zora, Nicky, their friends, and their families will definitely change their minds. In a work that is as courageous as it is beautiful, Burney has dared to say what many people think, and she challenges us all on what we will do

about it. The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. In this book that is definitely true, although the sin of racism is exposed and turned on every side, forcing us to think through our own beliefs about God, about love and about life. At a time when the country is both uniting and dividing along color lines, this is a great book to read and discuss with friends, book clubs, and between generations.

Though Burney’s Zora and Nicky is definitely a landmark in an industry that isn’t always comfortable talking about race and romance, it isn’t the first novel to tread these waters. Patricia Haley’s Blind Faith (New Spirit, 2003), Michelle Stimpson’s Boaz Brown (Walk Worthy Press, 2005), Linda Leigh Hargrove’s The Making of Isaac Hunt (Moody Press, June 2007) and Jacquelin Thomas’s Shades of Gray (Steeple Hill, 2006) are just some of the Christian fiction titles that have addressed the color of love. As gas prices rise and vacation miles shorten, pick up one of these titles and take a trip into a great story.

Rhythms Of GRACE