Passing by Patricia Jones

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Like a glass of lemonade that is both sweet and tart, writer Patricia Jones mixes up a refreshing blend of deep emotion and raw truth, tempered by a grounded dose of wisdom.

To Lila Giles, the term "passing" refers to those pale-hued folks who take advantage of their creamy shade by crossing into the white world. Descended from a long line of an elite Baltimore family awash with "high-colored" skin just right for "passing", family lore told Lila that not one of them would have thought to deny their true selves and rich history in such a way. It is this sense of pride that bonds the Giles family together -- a bond strongly enforced by Lila's controlling stepmother Eulelie. But the delicate balance of this branch of the family Eulelie has so carefully engineered is threatened when Lila's brother decides to marry a woman from an oh-so-very-wrong family.

A proud though severe matriarch, Eulelie Giles has ruled her four grown stepchildren with a heavy self-righteousness that could break the spirit of the most sound opponent, let alone the nearly thirty-year-old Lila. Relentlessly loyal to her privileged world, Eulelie has ingrained upon Lila and her three other stepchildren the importance of distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable blacks. Despite her strident belief in an unyielding class line, Eulelie has kept a secret about her own past that manages to affect, in more ways than a few, anyone who enters her life. As the wedding day draws closer, Lila begins to look at her reality versus Eulelie's, and what Lila finds leads to a confrontation between stepmother and stepdaughter that could finally shatter Eulelie's reign over Lila and the family, but ultimately, one that will lead Eulelie back to the truth.

Filled with multi-dimensional characters and rich with atmosphere, Passing is a story of tangled family relationships; the secrets, misunderstanding, and deceptions that hold them together.


About Patricia Jones

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Patricia Jones was a native of Baltimore but lived in New York City with her daughter. Throughout her writing life, her work appeared in Ms., Essence, Family Circle, Woman's Day, and the New York Times. The Color of Family is her third novel.
Published April 25, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 388 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Passing

San Francisco Chronicle

Close-ups heighten the impact of the youth's inability to respond to Eisa Davis' loving mother and the allure of de'Adre Aziza and Rebecca Naomi Jones when love threatens to become too real.

Aug 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Passing

Project MUSE

Yet popular music remained segregated by an industry interested in targeting increasingly fragmented audiences, and Broadway reflected the tendency: black musicals weren’t marketed as rock musicals or rock operas because “rock” was for white people.

| Read Full Review of Passing

Reviews in History

Behind Enemy Lines is about the experiences of women and men who were recruited and trained by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), and then infiltrated into France to undertake clandestine resistance operations such as sabotage.

Dec 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Passing

Talkin' Broadway

Ticket price: Orchestra and Mezzanine $111.50, Balcony (Rows A-B) $66.50, Balcony (Rows C-D) $36.50, Balcony (Rows E-F) $26.50.

Feb 28 2008 | Read Full Review of Passing

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