Title: Passing Love
Author: Jacqueline Luckett
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher for a blog tour with TLC Book Tours
First line: She’d waited all her life to go to Paris.
Goodreads blurb: Nicole-Marie Handy has loved all things French since she was a child. After the death of her best friend, determined to get out of her rut, she goes to Paris, leaving behind a marriage proposal. While there, Nicole chances upon an old photo of her father – lovingly inscribed, in his hand, to a woman Nicole has never heard of. What starts as a vacation quickly becomes an investigation into his relationship to this mystery woman.
Moving back and forth in time between the sparkling Paris of today and the jazz-fueled city filled with expatriates in the 1950s, Passing Love is the story of two women dealing with lost love, secrets, and betrayal…and how the City of Light may hold all of the answers.
In Passing Love, Jacqueline Luckett explores a fascinating period of history. So many African Americans fought heroically in World War II, only to return to a country in which segregation was the norm, and racism was rampant. While the US was still living in the dark ages when it came to race, in France, color was not an issue. Many African Americans left their home country to live in Paris, experiencing the art and music scene. RubyMae Garrett was one of those people, and her story is one of the plot lines in Passing Love.
The modern storyline follows Nicole Handy, a woman who is exhausted from taking care of her aging parents, and whose best friend has just died. Her friend’s last request is that Nicole take a trip to Paris, something that has always been her dream. When in Paris, Nicole finds a photograph of her father, a photo that is inscribed to a woman who is not her mother. Her investigation into the photo leads Nicole to some family secrets, secrets she’s not sure she wants unearthed.
There was much to enjoy about this book. I enjoyed the setting, and the period of history is fascinating. When I first read the plot synopsis and saw the beautiful cover, I thought this was going to be a book I would love. And while it was a pleasant read, the characters failed to inspire me. I couldn’t relate to either RubyMae or Nicole, although I did find their stories interesting. The biggest issue I had, though, was with the writing. The writing was stilted in places, and many sentence were awkwardly worded. More than once, I had to reread a sentence, and even then wasn’t sure exactly what the author was trying to say. I think that the book could have been better with a bit more editing.