Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#BookReview: HAVE YOU MET NORA? by Nicole Blades

Summary: She’s blossomed from a wealthy surgeon’s beautiful daughter to elegant socialite to being the top fashion stylist in the country. And Nora Mackenzie is only days away from marrying into one of New York’s richest, most powerful families. But her fairy tale rise is rooted in an incredible deception—one scandal away from turning her perfect world to ashes…

What no one knows is that Nora is the biracial daughter of a Caribbean woman and a long-gone white father. Adopted—and abused—by her mother’s employer, then sent to an exclusive boarding school to buy her silence, Nora found that “passing” as a white woman could give her everything she never had.

Now, an ex-classmate who Nora betrayed many years ago has returned to her life to even the score. Her machinations are turning Nora’s privilege into one gilded trap after another. Running out of choices, Nora must decide how far she will go to protect a lie or give up and finally face the truth.

ReviewWhile I didn't love Nicole Blades' The Thunder Beneath Us, I can see where she's made progress in developing story lines and characters, and I can appreciate that. The story line of Have You Met Nora? is interesting in that we tend to think of passing as something done during and post-slavery, but not recently. However, a collection of essays edited by Brando Skyhorse in this year's We Wear the Mask indicates that passing is not a thing of the past and is very much alive and well.

It is somewhat understandable as to why one might pass if it affords them opportunities they might not otherwise have. But to forfeit your right to your culture and heritage and limit yourself in other ways in the future is a hefty price to pay. Nora seems willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that she is always and only seen as white.

In a recent conversation on Twitter, I noted that though others seem to accept whatever race one might present as, black people recognize other black people regardless of the shade of their skin.The most interesting character in Have You Met Nora? is the character that I would have loved more development of. That would be the black, former classmate of Nora who knew at first glance that she was passing and tormented her with that knowledge.

This wasn't an OMG or earth shattering read, but it's passable if you have some time and a few coins to spare. Blades progressively gets better with each book. My hope is that she really knocks it out of the park the next time.

320 p.
Published: October 2017

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