Shanika Ann Jenkins is the pride of her African-American family; smart, beautiful, and born with blue eyes and blonde hair. Though her grandmother and father are happy because she represents years of passing down light skin and marrying well, Shanika's mother insists on her name reflecting her African-American heritage so that she will always be proud of who she is. When Shanika gets the opportunity to work for a PR firm in New York, she finds that everyone assumes she is white; she also notices that being white has it advantages, from getting respect at work to getting picked up by a cab when other African-Americans are passed by. When she starts dating a successful white colleague, she continues with the lie, despite the guilt she feels at disappointing her mother and her heritage. When she falls for a handsome African-American business man, she must finally face who she is and what she's done, even if it means losing everything and everyone she loves.
In her fifth novel, Quinones Miller (Satin Doll) attempts to make a commentary on race but instead delivers a stew of clich s, two-dimensional characters and tired stereotypes. African-American Shanika Jenkins, who has "skin as white as Meryl Streep's," blond hair and blue eyes, comes from a long line of Jenkinses who pride themselves on being so light-skinned that some people could mistake them for white. After graduating from college, Shanika gets an interview at a New York PR firm and starts dreaming big. But after the interview, Shanika is told she was turned down for the position because the interviewer thought she was white, and therefore wouldn't help meet the company's affirmative action quota. She interviews for another position that isn't subject to the AA rules as a white woman and, predictably, lands the job and her career takes off. The lies snowball and she hurts plenty of people, including the man of her dreams: the handsome African-American businessman Tyrone Bennett. The ending may surprise, but there are few reasons to get that far.
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The bar was set with Satin Doll and Satin Nights. I just felt like her passing for so long was drawn out and the ending was abrupt.