Vanessa V. Friedman
May 09, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Passion Dream Book

Current Status
In Season
Whitney Otto
Fiction, Romance

We gave it an B+

Romy, an Italian American, and Augustine, a black schoolmate, become infatuated in The Passion Dream Book by Whitney Otto when Romy stumbles into the frame of Augustine’s camera. They soon move to Harlem, in the throes of its famous 1920s renaissance, where they open a photo studio. As Augustine’s star rises, Romy’s gets more and more obscure; she flees to Paris, where she begins to discover her own photographic talent. This is an odd book, touching so many historical cultural moments in a superficial way. The ultimate effect is somewhat like the dream of the title; you are left with little factual memory, but a vague sense of satisfaction. B+

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