Clare Kendry leads a dangerous life. Fair, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past. Clare's childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, but refuses to acknowledge the racism that continues to constrict her family's happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others-and the secret fears they have buried within themselves.
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Thadious M. Davis
New York Times - Richard Bernstein
...the genius of this book is that its protagonists, especially its Anna Karenina-like central figure, Irene Redfield, are complex and fully realized and individually responsible as well. Larsen's treatment of race in this sense was both candid and tough-minded. She understood the power of its impact, but she never let her characters escape from the weight of their choices.