Book Review: Filthy Lucre

Filthy Lucre
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When I tell you I loved this story, I loved this story! I have a penchant for interracial historical romances because I’m always curious to see how the author makes the relationship work in spite of the times the characters live in, and this one did NOT disappoint!

So the story opens in Joplin, Missouri in 1933 (one month before my grandmother’s birth!) Theodora is black woman who lives in her own home in the middle of nowhere. She earns an income by renting rooms to people passing through. One day, she’s shopping at the town five and dime when it’s robbed at gunpoint. She loses not only the last of her money, but the groceries that she went to shop for because the owner is an old racist prick. He won’t extend her credit or sympathy, so she has no choice but to make the miles-long trek back home dejected and without the ingredients to make her famous pecan pie.

Just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any better (or worse), a white, handsome stranger pulls up to her home seeking a room for 3 days in which he’s willing to pay $300 cash! Reluctantly she accepts the money because she’s naturally suspicious of a white man seeking a room in a black woman’s home. Let’s just say her instincts were correct…

I will not give away the rest of the story because I very easily could. This story wonderfully blends fiction with factual events. An infamous crime duo makes an unwanted appearance, and I loved the drama that ensues! This is not a heavily romantic tale, but there a few key romantic interludes which sweeten the tale that much more. The focus is clearly on how Teddy and Louis learn how to survive in the throes of the choices they make and the aftermath of tragic events. The ending is the absolute best! My heart just melted…

I highly recommend this story. Sharon Cullars is a great storyteller. My head was filled with picturesque scenery as I imagined the town of Joplin, the interior of Teddy’s home, the way she prepared meals… All of that makes for great storytelling, and if the title alone, Filthy Lucre, doesn’t grab your attention, then I can’t help you;)