I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time.

It’s a collection of essays called All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way, by Patrice Gopo.


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I first met Patrice in Cape Town in 2007, shortly after my youngest was born. We shared a mutual friend, who introduced us while Patrice was in South Africa for ten weeks.

As Patrice shared at my book launch reception earlier this year, back then we both assumed our paths had crossed for a short time and might never cross again.

Instead, the Lord continued to give us opportunities to connect, and Patrice has since become a dear friend and writing life confidante. I’m so grateful for Patrice’s input and encouragement in my own writing journey over the years.

Patrice Gopo

Now it is such a delight for me to celebrate this book’s release.

Patrice boldly and beautifully writes of her experience growing up in Alaska as an American woman born to Jamaican immigrant parents.

She shares selected memories from what it was like as one of the only brown-skinned children in her school, and how her identity was shaped by various facets of her upbringing.

In this collection of essays, Patrice offers rich insights and wisdom into a broad range of topics including race relations, commitment, friendship, and identity.

With each essay I read, I kept thinking to myself, “Oh, that was my favorite so far . . .” then after finishing another, “No, I think that one was my favorite.”

This is an important and timely book that will likely open doors for deep conversation.


Here are a handful of my favorite quotes to whet your appetite:


“Back then the thermostat hovered near eighty degrees in our house while snowflakes grew into drifts in yards, on the road, on the pine needle branches of trees. Inside, the sauna sensation ushered in comfort and familiarity, I assume. Now I wonder at attempts to recreate the familiar climate of Jamaica, I wonder at the silent ways people bring with them what they can’t take.”


“Back when I used to whisper to my parents in the middle of the night, could they have guessed that the light in their marriage would dim and they would clutch regret surrounded by their crumbled dreams?”


“You press forth into the unknown, and the other side, the reality of the other side, pierces your heart in a way that reminds you of your humanness, of your possibilities, of your very life.”


If you’re looking for a beautifully written, thought-provoking read, I can highly recommend All the Colors We Will See.




Patrice Gopo


Patrice Gopo is a 2017-2018 North Carolina Arts Council Literature Fellow.

She is the author of a forthcoming essay collection about race, immigration, and belonging entitled All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way.

She lives with her family in North Carolina. Find her at patricegopo.com.




Oh, and if you want to meet Patrice in person, she and I will both be presenting at the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in October!


Learn more about the Breathe Conference and register here.


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Affiliate links have been used in this post.