The book The Color of Water was written to appeal to the average middle class book reader. The author had written the book as a reflection and gift to his mother whom he praised for her journey and strength in raising 12 children into adulthood: Each of the children having been raised with faith and education. I do not think that the book was written for one general audience but I would say that James wrote the book with intent to reach black and white audiences. It may have been somewhat of a turn off to devout Jewish readers, but I found it very truthful having been raised in the south by a Jewish/Hebrew family.
The writer’s style was direct and personable. In reading the book, I felt like I knew the people he was discussing and found the style to be open and inviting.