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Bright Purple: Color Me Confused

Review

Bright Purple: Color Me Confused

While enjoying lunch at the mall, Jessica LeCroix decides it's time to tell her best friend, Ramie Grant, what Jessica has known for a long while --- Jessica is a lesbian. Ramie, however, can't handle the news. Sickened, she excuses herself from the table, runs to the ladies' restroom and loses her lunch. With feelings of betrayal and hurt (and perhaps an inkling of what's to come), Jess passes Ramie's purse to her and immediately a line of division is drawn.

Ramie's initial reaction is denial, then disgust. She wonders how her formerly best friend (her best Christian friend) can "come out" with such an outrageous statement. Her imagination starts running rampant: Has Jess ever "felt" things for her? What about when they dress in the locker room for basketball practice? How does Jess square what the Bible says about homosexuality? Worse yet, will others think she's gay too? 

Confused, Ramie distances herself in every way possible from Jess and makes a concerted effort to form alliances that put Jess on the outside. Ramie discusses the situation with her counselor mom, but doesn't get the answers she needs. Then, Ramie jumps into dating a boy with a "who cares" attitude as further "insurance" that others won't assume she's a lesbian by association.

In the tumultuous days and weeks following Jess's confession, everyone gets an education on how emotionally charged any topic of sexuality becomes. Ramie and Jess's church members, Jess's family, kids at school, the girls on the basketball team --- everyone weighs in with their thoughts and opinions. Sadly, most of what comes to the surface is ugly.

Even after Ramie secures for herself a "safe" social standing, she continues to feel conflicted about her rejection of Jess. Witnessing Jess get verbally abused finally forces Ramie to live out the tenets of her faith. She can love Jess as she always has and be her friend without agreeing with her stance on homosexuality. But will she?

Somehow, Melody Carlson has managed to craft a very plausible and realistic story in which faith and life choices collide. There's fallout to be sure, but she skillfully offers hope, good counsel and substantive challenge throughout.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on August 22, 2006

Bright Purple: Color Me Confused
by Melody Carlson

  • Publication Date: August 22, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress
  • ISBN-10: 1576839508
  • ISBN-13: 9781576839508