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There have been other books about ""passing""- notably William L. White's Lost Boundaries (Harcourt, Brace- 1948). For here, through the agency of Mrs. Bradley, a girl, in appearance ""white"", tells of her experience. There's a vivid picture of her home background, of a grandmother who was a potent influence in her life, of schooldays when she was accepted as white, only to be rejected when her obviously Negro brothers turned up, of her job at Marshall Field and the constant accompaniment of fear, of the lies that were necessary at home and outside, and of eventually running away and starting again in New York alone- and ""white"". The story is a tragic one, as one senses the desolate loneliness and disappointment. Then a man came into her life, as alone as she was, and afterwards one wonders whether he would not have understood and provided her answer. But Reba wanted more, and when she fell in love and married, she did not realize what was involved in acquiring a new family- and having none of her own to provide. The tissue of lies became all enveloping. The unreality of her new life haunted and terrified her, and when pregnant, a friend out of her Negro past recognized her at a nightclub. How it culminated in self betrayal- and a second escape from reality- provides a surprise ending. It is an agonizing story, with its own measure of censure, and should be read more as a human interest document than a sociological one.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1955
Publisher: Longmans, Green