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Passing Love Paperback – January 25, 2012

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Beautifully written and filled with vibrant scenes of Paris in its Jazz age and today, Passing Love is a treat."―People Magazine

"It's midnight in Paris, now and in the mid-20th century, in Luckett's second novel. In this dreamy and lyrical paean to all things French. . . Luckett weaves a fascinating portrait of women of color who defy family and tradition to follow love and chase success. . . . In the end, it's the soulful, headstrong, romantic Ruby whose passion resonates in this story of discovery and acceptance."―Publishers Weekly

"Luckett's loving descriptions of Paris evoke the sights, smells and sounds of the City of Light. Nicole's story is one with which any woman, regardless of age or skin color, can relate, but Ruby's tale and the author's meticulous research into the Paris of the period following WWII is the real star of this novel. . . . Well written and engaging, a celebration of life after 50."―Kirkus Reviews

"C'est magnifique! A delicious read, brimming with hope, love, and light."―Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

"Luckett has written our Paris dreams come true--between two lives and two generations, this story delivers the romance and the heartbreak of all that the City of Lights has to offer. You will escape with this novel and question or embrace your own unlived lives."―Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

"A fierce, beautiful novel . . . a heroine for the ages . . . Luckett is a writer to watch and admire."―ZZ Packer, O Magazine, 2007

"Lush, evocative and seductive. Only read Passing Love if you're willing to give yourself over completely to the excitement of the jazz scene of post-WWII Paris, and a woman's determination to find her place in the present-day City of Light."―Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River and Red River

About the Author

Jacqueline E. Luckett is the author of Searching for Tina Turner. A San Francisco Bay Area native, she lives in Oakland, California. For more information, and to read her blog, you can visit

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446542997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446542999
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As a teenager, Jacqueline enjoyed telling stories to her younger cousins. To this day, they describe her as a master storyteller. So, it wasn't a surprise to her family when she began writing a novel. Through her teenage years, she kept diaries, wrote poetry and had stories published in a local newspaper. As an adult, Jacqueline put writing aside and worked in corporate America.

In 1999, she took a creative writing class on a dare, from herself, and happily found her love of writing re-ignited. By a lucky coincidence, that same year she discovered the Voices of Our Nations (VONA) writing workshops and participated over the next four years in workshops with Christina Garcia, Danzy Senna, Junot Diaz, Ruth Forman and Terry McMillan. VONA provided a safe haven for a new writer still unsure of her abilities, yet eager to learn. She attributes much of her growth as a writer to the VONA workshops.

In 2004, Jacqueline formed the Finish Party (featured in O Magazine, October 2007) along with seven other women writers-of-color. Jacqueline calls these outstanding women her mentors and advisors, her friends and the toughest (and most loving) readers around.

Jacqueline is an avid reader and lover of books, an excellent cook, aspiring photographer, and world traveler. She lives in Northern California and, though she loves all of her friends there, she takes frequent breaks to fly off to foreign destinations.

Jacqueline is the author of two novels, PASSING LOVE and SEARCHING FOR TINA TURNER.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Belt on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Finally, a story that speaks to me, an African-American woman of a certain age. There are lots of other stories for the young, twenty-something set about Paris. This is a story for the mature adult who can understand how things happen in families, how secrets are kept and revealed, and this time in the most unlikely place, Paris, France. How many of us have dreamed of going to Paris, of romanticizing it, of wondering about it and all the people who look like us that live there? I wasn't sure what to expect, but what a pleasant surprise! I got this book from the library, but plan to buy my own copy for the author to sign when she comes to town.

I don't want to give away any of the plot. Instead I recommend that you follow along with the story of how a girl from Mississippi comes to live in Paris, speaking french and living french and how decades later, a woman comes to Paris looking for answers to her life. There is music, history, love, betrayal, joy, intrigue. I found the book well written. It did not pander. I think of it as a grownup's story, not your typical Paris adventure fluff. I followed the story every step of the way. Enjoyed the french lessons, the memories of the secrets found in a cedar chest, family drama and oh the love stories will make you sit down and think about them long after you have finished the book. Even now after the last chapter, I am wondering if the truth really was revealed...... You will have to decide for yourself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Since she was nine years old and found the bluebook, fifty-six years old Nicole-Marie Handy loves all things French though she has never visited France. Her dying best friend Tamara makes Nicole agree to a death bed pledge of going to Paris. While her married lover Clint asks her to wait; as he swears he will leave his wife Eleanor to marry her and then take her to Paris on their honeymoon.

Nicole ignores Clint and travels to Paris. There she locates a photo of her dad lovingly inscribed by him to RubyMae, a woman she never heard of. She begins to investigate what happened in Paris to her dad after WWII had ended.

Rotating perspective between Nicole's modern day saga and RubyMae's 1940s-1950s drama, Passing Love is an interesting tale of two women coping with betrayal and failed love yet finding solace in Paris. Character driven by the lead female protagonists, readers will enjoy their similar stories linked by her father though six decades apart.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Verdick on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ever since she was a litle girl Nicole has loved all things French. Now middle-aged and divorced, with a married lover who proposes marriage, she flees to Paris, mourning the lost of her best friend. While there, almost by accident, in a Paris shop she finds an old photo of her G.I. dad, lovingly inscribed to a woman Nicole has never heard of. This starts her on a quest to the 1950's Jazz Age in Paris, when black ex-pats flocked to the City of Light to find an acceptance lacking in America at the time. And thus through determination, and a bit of luck, Nicole discovers the elusive Ruby, with her tragic love and her secret connection to Nicole. Although this is a story of two women of color, it has a broader appeal to anyone interested in a good story of love, betrayal, and mystery. And the author's descriptions of Paris, with all of its unforgettable sights and sounds, is well worth the trip.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arelia R. Sanders on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Passing Love was a wonderfully written book, and the characters were well developed. Initially I had a little time getting through the French lessons, but as the story line developed. The true story unfolds in Paris during the post WWII era and US black migration during the Jim Crow era. I loved each of the characters and their quest to dream, love, and be loved back.

Reviewed by Sheryl Booth-Loftin
Turning Pages Bookclub
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Masquerade Crew on February 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition

Passing Love is really two stories of two women and Paris, the story of Nicole and of RubyMae. As can be expected despite their different time settings there is more than just Paris connecting those stories, but I shan't spoil anything for the reader, leaving you to wonder and guess at the connection. What I can say is that Paris is well represented in the stories in a way that inspires me to one day travel there.

The characters in Passing Love are flawed, as any good character is. Nicole is at times insecure and unsure, she doubts herself and she steps outside her comfort zone. Most importantly she grows as the story progresses, proving that no matter how old you are there is always time to experience more of the world and to change, and you as the reader get to grow with her. RubyMae is a little self centred, though she doesn't see it that way, and determined to keep her dream of Paris of alive. There is a nice contrast between the characters, both being very different from each other.

The two stories are woven together well so that no matter how into one you may be you find yourself looking forward to the switch of perspectives. I was eager to turn the pages to find out what was happening with Nicole and yet no matter how suspenseful her story, it was always exciting to see what Ruby was up to next, and vice versa. While sometimes overlapping stories such as this one don't always work, in Passing Love they are woven together so well that you'll want to keep reading way into the night. I highly recommend this book.
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