The Highest Price for Passion by Laurinda D. Brown (Oct. 2008 Pick of the Month)

Publisher/Date:  Strebor, Aug. 2008
Genre(s):  Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages:  272

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

The past comes back to haunt in Laurinda D. Brown’s fifth solo title, THE HIGHEST PRICE FOR PASSION. Beginning in the volatile pre-Civil War era, her latest novel follows illicit exploits of slaves and masters as their lives intersect in the most perilous ways. Several characters narrate the story filled with infatuations and horrors that arise during a time when blacks were no more than tortured servants for white masters.

The fiery tale begins from the eyes of Amelia, a slave who recounts her life and the terror she endured escaping her master. Amelia, born from a white mother and slave, grew up knowing she wasn’t like the other workers around her. Yet because of the time and place she inhabited, she had to keep the appearance of being like the other black folks around her. One night her lineage is discovered, and it eventually leads to her disappearance.

But Amelia’s roots trace back far before her birth, tied to a shaky family tree with unspeakable secrets. Passion explores her heritage from her descendents and to a host of other characters from three generations ago – ones whose desires lead them to destructive behavior. There’s Massa Gray, who after years of rumors, can’t deny his attraction to the male form, including his own slaves; McKinley Wellsworth, whose notoriety as a hard-nosed master, is essentially a product of his tortured upbringing; and then there’s her own father, Josiah, whose attraction for Amelia’s mother couldn’t be contained and produced a love child he had to abandon.

Amelia, as she tells her life story, is aware of the passions that consume those around her, including her master and mistress. Both have strong connections to the beautiful slave, and she’s treated somewhat better than other blacks on the plantation. But Amelia knows her destiny and that there’s something more out there for her than a life of servitude.

Brown has a tackled a novel with historical significance with Passion, a book worlds apart from the contemporary novels she’s written such as Fire & Brimstone, UnderCover,Walk Like a Man and Strapped. The drama is still there, only from an earlier time and place. Brown has done her research with this story, and offers something different for black lesbian readers with Passion, a tale we should read not only for its compelling subject matter, but so that we can gain perspective with how far our race has come.

Reviewed October 2008

2 thoughts to “The Highest Price for Passion by Laurinda D. Brown (Oct. 2008 Pick of the Month)”

  1. Hi, Ladies-

    I can’t believe you guys gave this book as high a rating as you did! It should have been rated as ZERO stars. None of the charatcers were fully fleshed out, the story zipped along with barely any kind of set up and the ending was insulting to any thinking person’s intelligence. It’s like the author completely forgot how to tell a story.

    In no way, shape or form could I nor would I recommend this book to a friend. In fact, when a friend of mine said he wantd to read it, I didn’t let him borrow my copy, I GAVE it to him b/c it pained me to think he would actually waste his money on this drivel.

    If you value your intelligence, stay away, ladies, stay away.

  2. I was wondering if this was a place where people could keep it real, i can see by the last comment that it is.

    I totally agree about this book. It was horrible. But that’s not saying much cause I honestly haven’t liked a single one of her books.

    I think the reason she has gotten so much notarity is because she was writing books for a community that didn’t have anything else. But as I think about the books i’ve read I’ve never been impressed.

    This book was just as poorly written as Fire and Brimstone. I try to support black lesbian authors but after this one I will nto be giving any more of my money to a laurinda Brown book.

    I hate if i sound too harsh but I’m just keeping it real. There are so many other great black lesbian authors out there that don’t have their books in major stores and should. YOu can take my advice if you want but if you are going to spend the money spend it on a Fiona Zedde book or get Choices by Skyy, that was an amazing first novel. i’d even say get Anna J even though she is writing lesbian stuff and isn’t gay.

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