PRIDE & PASSION - Carla Buchanan
REVIEWER: Barbara Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: PRIDE AND PASSION spans the decade of the fifties. The story is set in the small Southern town of Perlshaw, Georgia. At the beginning of the story, we learn that America is embroiled in the Korean War. While this country is fighting in a war on foreign shores, African Americans at home are fighting for equality in the South through a grass-roots movement promoting literacy that will eventually lead to Blacks being able to register to vote. Some soldiers are returning home, and some are not. The heroine, Constance Ray, has become a victim of the war. Her husband, Alvin Ray, is one of the soldiers who does not return because he is killed in battle.
Constance Ray is a complex character whose life plans have been derailed by the death of her husband. She has desires, dreams, and designs for her life, but they are not being fulfilled. Constance is torn between trying to be the outspoken woman she wants to be and the passive, mourning woman people expect her to be. Consequently, Constance is engrossed in an inner battle. Our hero, Ensign Nathaniel Kelley, returns from war and makes his way to Perlshaw to fulfill a dying wish message from Ray to Constance. Nathaniel is also gripped by an inner struggle that he is grappling with. Both of these characters, Constance and Nathaniel, are well-developed and believable. They are worthy representations of young Black men and women of that time - educated, skilled, qualified, and full of “pride and passion” to usher in a changing society. The romantic aspect is apparent and promising. Constance and Nathaniel are good together, especially when they come to grips with those obstacles that restrict them from really living. You’ll get that when you read their story.
One of the best features of this story, is that it extends throughout the fifties. Constance and Nathaniel’s journey begins in 1951 with the Korean War, and includes unforgettable historical events like the tragic Emmitt Till’s murder, and Rosa Parks’ pivotal role in the Civil Rights struggle that led to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It is indeed a story of a decade that highlights a proud people with a passion to be treated like first- class citizens.
PRIDE AND PASSION is a good story, and it is an asset to the Decades’ series. Author, Carla Buchanan, presents an admirable and well-written story depicting history and romance in the Fifties, and I recommend it. What a great series! Now, on to the Sixties.
10th June 2018 | firstname.lastname@example.org