Tabou is the story of two influential families: the Russets and the Herricks. The story’s main focus is Patience Herrick and Jocelyn (Joss) Russet. This is the first novel of five in this family drama.
There are so many characters in this book that I am just going to focus on a couple of them. Patience Herrick is the heiress to a multimedia fortune. Joss Russet is the heiress to a brewing fortune. When these two meet there is an immediate attraction between them despite the age gap. At the time Joss was only sixteen, Patience did not want to begin an affair until Joss was older. Several years later the two come together again, time doing nothing to quell the attraction. I may interpret these characters differently than the author intended, but I saw Joss initially as still trying to come to terms with and explore her sexuality. She didn’t really come into her own until she met Patience. Patience struck me as a very experienced woman, but was always missing something where relationships were concerned. She also struck me as needing to be in control, and only with Joss would she relinquish a little bit of that.
Stroh has written a story I would describe as an epic. She did a wonderful job of mixing the Tabou world and the real world together into the timeline. She does not shy away from the erotic scenes in the book, which are steamy without being too over the top. The novel has a huge amount of characters and there was so much going on, I found myself confused several times, and I was grateful for the character index in the back. For me, this book doesn’t fall into the category of lazy afternoon read. There is so much to take in, and it requires attention or you could quickly find yourself a bit lost. Stroh leaves no stone unturned and writes with a vast amount of detail. Whether or not this is your style of read, there is no doubt as to Stroh’s talent.
Jocelyn Russet and Patience Herrick. Two powerful, British-born American lesbians, fiery heiresses of different generations. Both coming of age at the same time. Are they destined for one another—or starcrossed? Follow their ten-year Odyssey in a sexy romp through the rollicking 1980s and 1990s. Discover how their fate turns on secret histories that bind the Russet and Herrick dynasties in business, politics and espionage. Meet an international cast of supporting characters who must all choose between love and duty in book one of the TABOU quintet.