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Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Short stories

Love in Color

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Bolu Babalola, on your first book!

by Bolu Babalola

Quick take

A love song for love stories! This magical, ingenious anthology shows us the ups, downs, and turnarounds of romance.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


Why I love it

Jerrod MacFarlane
BOTM Editorial Team

For more than a year, many of us have found ourselves separated from those we hold most dear. Relationships of all kinds have been tested—some have crumbled, others have deepened. In some corners, we have even seen new ones come into being. In her introduction to Love in Color, Bolu Babalola writes, “Love is tender, tentative, brutal, and bold. It’s messy and magic!” What better testament to this reality could we have than these often agonizing past few months where nonetheless love has not only persisted but often gotten more creative, bolder (and richer for it). What a gift it is to have this book to accompany us in this beautiful mess of care, intimacy, vulnerability, and affection amidst struggle and physical separation.

Love in Color collects stories of love from across the globe and history, teasing out its many forms and expressions. Animated by a deep appreciation for love’s complexity, it reanimates these myths, legends, folktales, and dreams, bringing them into a modern idiom while letting each retain their unique cultural features and distinction. The range is breathtaking. One moment we are in the company of Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt exploring the nature of justice, the next we are following a reimagined Basutoland folktale about an everywoman’s journey of self-discovery. Riches are to be found on every page.

It is difficult work to make the past speak to the present. But here Babalola not only gives us legible history but history that sings. Here we see love’s deep relationship to agency, identity, community, and every other important facet of our lives. This book whispers to the reader: if you know what to look for, you can find love’s hand everywhere. If you have been missing the electricity of a surreptitious meeting of eyes from across a large room or the comfort of a warm embrace that seems to go on forever, this book is for you. If you are ready to give yourself over to a book brimming with passion, humor, and above all love, look no further. Your next great romance might just lie between Love in Color’s covers.

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A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart.

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.

With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.

Love in Color is a celebration of romance in all its many splendid forms.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Love in Color.

Member thoughts

All (737)
All (737)
Love (436)
Like (271)
Dislike (30)
751 ratings
  • 58% Love
  • 36% Like
  • 4% Dislike
  • Puyallup, WA

    Across 13 short stories (10 retellings and 3 originals) we get a wide range of characters, scenarios, settings, and love stories. I love how multicultural, diverse, and feminist it is. Superb writing.

  • New Era , MI

    I absolutely loved this - been a huge fan of mythology my whole life, so I expected to love the retellings of tales I already knew; I was blown away by how much I loved the stories I had never heard!

  • Oviedo, FL

    There's not enough words in these reviews to say how much I *loved* this book. Both the retelling of classics and original stories were SO beautiful, striking, captivating, and unique. Just stunning!

  • Urbana , IL

    An incredibly unique & spellbinding book! Usually, I fly through short story collections but I found myself slowing down to absorb each piece in it. Every story was beautiful and made me want more!

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Such beautiful, modernized retelling of love stories that many of us know and love. I’m so glad this was included in books for us to order. I’m glad that the author included Nigerian myths!

  • Asheville, NC

    Each story is so good! Some of them literally made me gasp out loud. As a lover of myths, this book brought me back to my infatuation of the fantastic. The perfect read before bed every night!

  • Gainesville , FL

    What a collection of riveting, rich and diverse stories. Bolu Babalola took me on a journey of love. Pure, captivating and enchanting. I'm so glad i got to experience her genius. Amazing!

  • Olathe, KS

    This was an excellent mix of short stories. I loved reading a feminist reimagining of old mythologies and folktales. Some of which I didn’t know and looked into after. Absolutely loved

  • Athens, AL

    I hate short stories, but this is the exception. I absolutely loved the modern take on classical myths. I was not familiar with some of the myths, but was intrigued to check them out.

  • Fort Worth, TX

    3.5 Stars. This unique takes on recreating different cultures’ love stories from years ago. Each story emphasizes diversity and individuality, there is something for every reader.

  • Kennewick, WA

    What a delightful collection! Stories both new and familiar, focused on love. I read a single story every night until I finished the book and it was a wonderful way to end the day.

  • Jersey City, NJ

    A stunning, vibrant collection of short stories that will even make a cynic like me smile and feel warm and fuzzy. Let yourself be transported, Bolu is an amazing guide.

  • Greenwood Village, CO

    How inspiring! I loved this book- so many fun and interesting stories to help you travel through time and places. The last one though! Cried at how beautiful love can be.

  • Dacula, GA

    Every story was so well crafted and stayed true to the original stories while giving a refreshing amount of autonomy to the mythological women they’re based on

  • Baton Rouge, LA

    I need to read more by this author. Her stories have a tangible atmosphere that you experience as your read. I loved every one of her stories.

  • Canton, NY

    This was such a beautiful read. The retellings were incredibly rich and I loved all of the love! Also can we talk about the cover? Stunning!

  • Wyoming, MI

    I adored Love in Color. I have read through it twice and also listened to it! I love short stories and these are fabulously done.

  • Oak Park , IL

    This was a cute way to learn about fables from other parts of the globe. Some of them really could have been full stories.

  • Hartsdale, NY

    Absolutely beautiful writing that pulls you in with every story. I loved how different yet connected the stories were.

  • Fort Leavenworth, KS

    Short stories about strong men and women discovering the best way to live life. Please write more!

Short stories
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