Just finished reading Passing and I know the underlying
theme was supposed to be racial identity, but – I gotta
say – I felt the title had more to do with Irene and
her passing for a righteous woman than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t consider Clare admirable –
not in the least. But with her, at least, you knew what to
expect. She made no pretense about being something other than
what she was. She knew what she wanted and went after it
with everything she had.
Our ‘Rene, on the other hand, put on airs of being this proper,
moral woman, but – when push came to shove – all those
fancy trimmings fell away to reveal someone little different
from a thug; a mean, petty woman who spent the whole book complaining,
never, for a moment, stopping to wonder whose fault it was, exactly,
that things were unraveling the way they were…
Mechanically, I thought the writing held up well to the passage
of time. The language structure was a little formal, for my
tastes, but, on the whole, I enjoyed the narrative.