Necessary Sins (Lazare Family Saga Book 1)


The Lazare family saga begins in Saint-Domingue, present day Haiti, and follows the travails of the Lazare family to their new home of Charleston, South Carolina. Joseph Lazare has always believed his darker complexion came from a Spanish grandmother until he and his sisters learn the truth. Their grandmother was a slave and by the laws of South Carolina, their freedom would be forfeit if the truth came out. The family keeps the secret but as each grows up, they deal with it in their own way. Joseph chooses to become a priest. His struggles over his "negro" blood are compounded by his feelings for Tessa, an Irish immigrant. Although Tessa marries and does her duty, she too feels the pull that exists between the two devout Catholics. Eventually, Joseph and Tessa will test their faith and their vows, but what will it cost them?

"Necessary Sins" is a sweeping saga that describes in richly detailed prose late 18th century Saint-Domingue and early to mid-1800s in Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Bell doesn't pull punches as she describes island life and slavery from the viewpoint of a plantation owner's wife. In South Carolina, the plight of the slaves is just as harsh and ugly. But the story soon focuses on young Joseph and his desire to become a priest and finally on his feelings for Tessa. The struggle of the slaves takes a backseat as Joseph fights against temptation to lie with Tessa, a married woman. The story ends at a pivotal moment, leaving readers with questions about Joseph's and Tessas' future. Drama and tragedy are intertwined in an emotionally-packed story of secrets, heartache and forbidden love!

Tricia Hill