McGill’s... prose is theatrical, packing every paragraph with action. The Color of Family crosses vast expanses of time and space, with secrets and twists unraveling at breakneck speed; it’s deeply engrossing. The family’s voices are alive and expressive through diary entries, interviews, rich dialogue, and detailed accounts of their familial relationships and social circles. The Payne family is unforgettable, and the humanity McGill observes through them is a gift.
McGill... compresses a fraught epic about a wealthy Black family into a compact and underdeveloped mosaic ... The shifting perspectives give contours to the sprawling family and its painful secrets, but the structure sacrifices depth for breadth. This novel of personal tragedies, bad decisions, and secrets doesn’t quite live up to its dreams.