Author: Trisha R. Thomas
Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 1, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR
Book Rating: 8/10
A young woman pays a devastating price for freedom in this heartrending and breathtaking novel of the nineteenth-century South.
1850. I was six years old the day Lewis Holt came to take me away.
Born into slavery, Dahlia never knew her mother—or what happened to her. When Dahlia’s father, the owner of Vesterville plantation, takes her to work in his home as a servant, she’s desperately lonely. Forced to leave behind her best friend, Bo, she lives in a world between black and white, belonging to neither.
Ten years later, Dahlia meets Timothy Ross, an Englishman in need of a wife. Reinventing herself as Lily Dove, Dahlia allows Timothy to believe she’s white, with no family to speak of, and agrees to marry him. She knows the danger of being found out. She also knows she’ll never have this chance at freedom again.
Ensconced in the Ross mansion, Dahlia soon finds herself held captive in a different way—as the dutiful wife of a young man who has set his sights on a political future. But when Bo arrives on the estate in shackles, Dahlia decides to risk everything to save his life. With suspicions of her true identity growing and a bounty hunter not far behind, Dahlia must act fast or pay a devastating price.
Multilayered, atmospheric, and alluring!
What Passes as Love is a vivid, captivating tale that sweeps you away to Virginia during the 1850s and into the life of Dahlia Holt, a young woman of mixed race who struggles to find her true place in a world where her skin is too light to be comfortable amongst her fellow slaves and a little too dark to be confident in her own home with a husband who mistakenly believes she is white.
The prose is clear and precise. The characters are determined, impulsive, and lonely. And the plot told from dual POVs unravels quickly into an intriguing tale of life, loss, love, friendship, injustice, jealousy, guilt, self-identity, loneliness, family drama, and survival.
Overall, What Passes as Love is an immersive, tender, engaging story by Thomas that doesn’t pack quite the emotional punch of some of the other Antebellum-era novels I’ve read recently but is still nevertheless an absorbing, satisfying tale.
This book is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to OTRPR and Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.