book reviews

Book Review: Passing

Book Details:

  • Publication Date: April 29, 2013 (Originally 1929)
  • Author: Nella Larson
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, African American
  • Format: Kindle
  • Length: 106 pages
Light-skinned black woman Irene Redfield encounters an old childhood friend – Claire- who is now “passing” as a white woman. Claire is married to a racist white man, who doesn’t know she has African American blood. In spite of the danger of being found out by her husband and society at large; she finds herself helplessly drawn to Irene’s world…

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This was a great short story and quick read. What made me want to read Passing, was me seeing the Netflix movie and realizing that it was based on a book. Oddly, I had never heard of it until then.

Irene Redfield is living her normal life with her husband and kids until one day she runs into a childhood “friend” while running errands. Claire Bellew, is a black woman who is passing as a white woman. She is able to do this because of her skin complexion and although her skin has gotten darker over the years, her husband (who’s white) still believes that she is white. Claire comes into Irene’s life and suddenly it seems like Irene is becoming invisible to those around her. The ending was very surprising for me since that wasn’t what I was expecting, but it fit in well to everything that was going on.

This was well written and it does trigger some emotions. This story is still relevant today and I am happy that this book is getting the attention that it needs.

My Rating:

Have you read Passing? What were your thoughts?


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