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Passing Love af Jacqueline E. Luckett

Passing Love (udgave 2012)

af Jacqueline E. Luckett

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
425477,165 (3)2
Nicole-Marie 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.… (mere)
Titel:Passing Love
Forfattere:Jacqueline E. Luckett
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 320 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Nøgleord:Recently Reviewed, Paris, Romance, Mystery, African Americans, Family

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Passing Love af Jacqueline E. Luckett


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Viser 5 af 5
Nicole-Marie Handy has a lifelong love of all things French, bu tat 56, had never been there. She is living a day by day mostly boring existence and having an affair with a married man who is a complete jerk. Everyone acts as though she shouldn't go to France on her own, and the jerk even proposes, bu t she decides to keep her promise to her friend, that she would go on without her after the friend died.

She has learned some French, and treasured a French dictionary that she found as a child and later had taken away from her, and has always been mistaken as being from Louisiana since she is African-American with French interests and French names. Her mother, Malvina, has always reacted badly to her interest in French and the photograph of a glamorous woman in their family photo album.

Nicole loves France as much as she thought she would. She is looking through a box at a junk shop and learning a bit about African Americans in France during and after WWII when she finds a picture of her father, Squire, from World War II with a loving message written on it to a woman she's never heard of.

Phone calls to her father do her no good as he has Alzheimer's and her mother, a strict and disciplined lady who's recovering from a stroke, isn't forthcoming. What Malvina does do, is send Nicole some letters written years ago, from Squire, Malvina, and a woman named Ruby. The revelations keep coming as she realizes her mother has never told her about her sister, Ruby.

As Nicole gets to know France and an interesting man from Senegal and learns more about the jazz scene in post WWII France she learns more about her family.

This was a great book with its French atmosphere, alternating between the present and Ruby's story in the past with her man Arnett, a jazz player. It also incorporates a love of poetry, especially Langston Hughes. One of Hughes' poems "Passing Love" gives the book its title. This book is a story about family secrets and getting to a certain point in your life and wondering how you got there. It might spark an interest in the lives of African Americans and the jazz scene in Paris in a time when African Americans were being accepted and celebrated there, when they weren't in the USA.

As a side note, the French words that introduced and hinted at the contents of each chapter were a nice touch.

I would recommend anyone interested in Paris, jazz, and African American history check out this book. ( )
  gildaclone | Dec 18, 2016 |
This is a superb novel about life in the paradise called Paris, France. However, it's not just about Jazz, poetry readings, walks in the park or eating fine meals. It's also about real life. The characters in the novel live from Oakland, California to Paris, France. It's as if their lives are so energized one place can't contain them. They have to live from ocean to ocean. PASSING LOVE by JACQUELINE LUCKETT is about love, deep love between men and women. There is also the love between siblings. Who can really understand what happens between siblings? What really makes the relationship right, or so tedious with comparisons and jealousies. What makes one sibling different from another? One stronger? Add in the differences in biological fathers and mothers there is returned family secrets, prevarications and separations. In Jacqueline Luckett's novel I could see this tenacity to hold on to whom you choose to name as yourself. Yes, identity is what must be fought for with everything a person has in them in order to win the struggle of being "me" and not "you."

For example, there are three women: Malvinia, Ruby and Nicole. Each woman is related in a fashion to the other woman. However, each woman is totally different whether mother and daughter or sisters. It becomes more than words can describe when a man is added. Two women wanting the same man makes life more than interesting or dangerous. The man is Squire Handy With these ingredients Life becomes like a twisted brioche. Each woman pulling for her slice of the hot French bread.

However in the process of all their lives Paris never seems to beat them down except for the saxophonist. Just proving a place is called the City of Lights it will never satisfy every person in it. I would say that Paris disappointed him. He wanted, needed to return to the states to get his Jazz groove back. Nobody heard his plea because they were bewitched by Paris's glow. His end wasn't pretty and unforgettable for his lover and friends. There is also much to learn about the soldiers from the end of WWI and the Second World War, the Black soldiers. The life of our American soldiers is a book in itself. Really, life is pretty complicated below the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps, it's more complicated when lived in a liberal city like Paris. This is a place where everybody loves a person no matter their color, but at the same time there is this soft undercurrent that catches some Blacks. This is where one can feel a little bit of the realityknocking against the fairy tale of all men are created equal, and we like living that way. I wonder whether the whole story of the war days in France, when more Black men died on Normandy's Beach and the Forties and Fifties has been told yet.

The author does her very best to take us from then to now, the Twenty-first century. I can only imagine her research and the feelings that pulled her heart over to the other side of her body. Jacqueline Luckett gave it her all. I believe she accomplished what she set out to do. There are names of real places: The Sorbonne, The Louvre, etc. There are names of real people: Josephine Baker and Langston Hughes. The poem PASSING LOVE by Langston Hughes is still sending chills through my body. There is also before each chapter a show and tell of Jacqueline Luckett's love for the French language.

At the end, Jacqueline Luckett explains her love for Paris. She'd been there twice. This time she writes "Although I'd been there twice, it was important to go back to capture the essence of the story. I took pictures of the oddest things: cobblestones, garbage, signs, fences, tables, feet, and more. Then I put together an album that I referred to when details skipped my mind." As for me, the reader, I am left with this deep longing to visit Paris. Is it possible to go there and not fall madly in love? My humorous side is showing. Seriously, in the end Jacqueline Luckett strived to give us every experience she could in this novel. There are many links listed, and there are many books to read about this period. I appreciated so much her desire to bring Paris back to me,one of her many, many readers.I am the one who has never crossed the sea.

There is one admonition I would like to remember, not a new one, but such a necessary one for life. "...not one thing we do or say can change the past. And dwelling on it is a waste of time." In his or her own way each character shows how this statement is true. jacquelineluckett ( )
  Tea58 | Apr 6, 2013 |
Just finished Passing Love by Jacqueline E. Luckett. What a nice, easy read after The Orphan Master's Son -- I needed that :-) ( )
  RebaRelishesReading | Sep 29, 2012 |
I absolutely adored this book! I’m a big fan of the Jazz Age and post~World War II African American culture, but those two topics are usually only covered within the confines of American society. Taking the concepts of racism, black womanhood, poverty and expectation across the Atlantic and intertwining it with romance, mystery, secrets and lies made for a delightful read.

This novel is part history lesson, part fantasy and a whole lot of “oh no she didn’t”. The sometimes antagonistic mother~daughter relationship is played out in a loving way that makes it relatable to women of all ages no matter what their relationships with their mothers. I also enjoyed the way Luckett handled the exploration of parents as people before they came together and created families. Did Mom or Dad really love someone before they met each other?

Overall, this is a terrific read and would make for some wonderfully creative book group discussions. ( )
  curiouschild | Jun 28, 2012 |
Sometimes a place gets into your heart and head and you have no idea why. It just captures your imagination. It calls to you. It becomes the place you most want to visit in person. You just know you belong there in ways that are completely inexplicable. Paris is this sort of place for Nicole-Marie Handy in Jacqueline Luckett's novel Passing Love.

Nicole is at a turning point in her life. Her elderly parents are failing and she helps them out as best she can. Her married lover is proposing marriage but still seems to have no intention of actually leaving his current marriage. Nicole's best friend, with whom she had planned a trip to Paris to see the city that so captivates her, died of cancer. But she didn't die before extracting a promise from Nicole to take the much-needed trip anyway. A little distance from her life might give her some perspective on her road forward.

As Nicole wanders through Paris, learning to be a little bit spontaneous and to take a chance here or there, she makes some friends in the city. It is at the shop of one of these new acquaintances that she finds an old photograph of her father. The mystery of it and how it came to be between the pages of an old book in Paris takes over Nicole's thoughts and she embarks on a journey to discover this long buried part of her father's life knowing that she can't simply ask him, fogged in by Alzheimer's as he is.

Nicole's quest is not the only plot thread running through the novel though. Alternating from Nicole in present day Paris to Mississippi during WWII and then Paris after the war, the tale of RubyMae, a young black girl who escapes the Jim Crow South for the relative racial blindness of liberated Paris, also weaves through the narrative. These two parallel stories of women, one young and one in her fifties eventually come together but long before they do, it is clear that both tales are of women finding themselves, facing and making decisions that will forever impact their lives and who they are.

Each chapter, whether about Nicole or about RubyMae, starts with a small French lesson and some vocabulary words that foreshadow the story to come. The alternating between Nicole and RubyMae was initially confusing and felt a bit choppy but it eventually smoothed out. As can be the case, though, one story line was more interesting, more dramatic and so the reading experience was a bit lopsided. Thankfully, as the two stories started to come together, the whole strengthened but the connection was fairly predictable and the ending expected.

RubyMae started off as vibrant and passionately full of life but then the depth of feeling in her character faded unfortunately leaving her fairly flat. Nicole's character was flat for me all along. We're told her feelings and that she is driven to go to Paris, but that drive has to be taken on faith. Even her anger later in the book is described rather than expressed and while that fits in some ways with her suppressed character, it makes it hard to understand and sympathize with her. Finding the photo was a tad bit too deus ex machina for my taste but without it, there is no story.

The book does a nice job describing Paris now and then. And the portions about "black Paris," where all of the jazz musicians lived after the war, and how they lied and played was fascinating stuff. The book did a good job showing the opportunities and freedoms to be found overseas as compared to the US in the late forties and early fifties. Although simple and fairly predictable, folks interested in Paris after the war, the birth of jazz, and race relations in the Jim Crow era will probably find this a worthwhile read. ( )
  whitreidtan | Jun 11, 2012 |
Viser 5 af 5
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Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Vigtige steder
Vigtige begivenheder
Beslægtede film
Priser og hædersbevisninger
Første ord
Sidste ord
Oplysning om flertydighed
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Wikipedia på engelsk


Nicole-Marie 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.

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