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Black Cake: A Novel af Charmaine Wilkerson
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Black Cake: A Novel (original 2022; udgave 2022)

af Charmaine Wilkerson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,2506415,216 (3.99)26
"In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother's death and her hidden past--a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake. In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking journey Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their family, and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor's true history, and fulfill her final request to 'share the black cake when the time is right?' Will their mother's revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever? Charmaine Wilkerson's debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch"--… (mere)
Medlem:asher8
Titel:Black Cake: A Novel
Forfattere:Charmaine Wilkerson (Forfatter)
Info:Random House Publishing Group (2022), 416 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Black Cake af Charmaine Wilkerson (2022)

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Food has long been an important part of family and culture with recipes being passed down through generations. This story revolves around the traditions and Caribbean Black Cake that was centerpiece of family gatherings. The story begins with Mr. Charles Mitch, the attorney delegated to handle the Will of Eleanor who dies a few years after her husband, Bert. She leaves her son, Byron and daughter, Benedetta "Benny" an audio recording of her wishes for her children as well as wanting to share some long held family secrets. Both Byron and Benny have gathered at their childhood home where they are forced to revisit the past and reconcile differences.

Back in 1965, Coventina "Covey" Lyncook was young with dreams which did not include her father, Johnny "Lin" Lyncook, marrying her off to Little Man to settle his gambling debt. She is plucked from her carefree youth spending time with her friend, Bunny swimming and crushing on surfer Gibbs. An unfortunate event occurs at the reception following the marriage ceremony of Covey and Little Man. He collapses on the floor and dies leading suspicion onto Covey as her resentment about the arranged marriage was evident. She is quickly allowed to flee from the island with help from friends after her husband Little Man collapses at the wedding reception. Covey fears going to jail for "murder" after his untimely death.

Covey befriends Eleanor "Elly" Douglas as they travel by train to London where Covey hopes to reunite with Gibbs and Eleanor seeks a job as a nurse. A tragic accident causes the train to derail leaving few survivors. Eleanor managed to piece her life together after the tragedy. She experiences more challenging events in the years to follow which all shape and define her life in ways she never imagined. She ultimately marries Bert and raises Byron and Benny "B and B" until Bert dies and she is alone dying of cancer. Upon her death, she instructs Mr. Mitch to ensure both siblings are present during her audio recorded "will" which also serves as a confession and exposure of long buried secrets. Her dying wish is for her children to reunite and understand the sacrifices and lies which were needed to protect the family.

This is a story rich with family traditions, secrets, love and tragedy. A bittersweet dedication to the endurance and resilience of the human spirit. ( )
  marquis784 | Feb 29, 2024 |
I listened to the novel on audio as well as the physical book and I give immense credit to Simone McIntyre, narrator for the voice in this book. This novel was a selection for discussion by my book club.

This book addressed so many cultural issues, such as forced adoptions, immigration, racial and sexual discrimination, Social media influences, domestic abuse, bisexuality and more.

I valued the very short chapters as well as the alternating views of the many characters. written in third person. As each character is developing, the author is weaving them together, to view each individual character and their connection to the community, and friends of their shared lives.

It’s helpful to create a list of characters as you progress through the chapters. Time and locations will change along with the storyline. You must keep up. The symbolism are a common thread throughout the novel with water, sugar cane, and Black Cake.

This was an emotional journey with the authors poetic writing of how the characters learn of the fate of loved ones, tightly held secrets, their legacies, traditions and future.

The story will stay with me for a long while. As a debut for this author, the book is outstanding among many. I’m sure her writings will only improve. ( )
  Onnaday | Feb 7, 2024 |
In this debut novel, two estranged siblings meet in the office of their mother Eleanor’s attorney after her death and are instructed in an audio recording to complete a task that takes them on a journey into their mother’s hidden past – from an unnamed Caribbean island in the 1960s to London and eventually to California, eventually ending with her famous black cake. This multigenerational story plays out in two timelines: the present, in which the relationship between Benny and Byron and with their mother is explored; and in Eleanor’s tragic and intriguing past. This creative and evocative work of historical and contemporary fiction weaves in many themes: sexual orientation, racism, misogyny, identity, tradition, longing, and loyalty. Beautiful writing. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
4.5 ( )
  J4NE | Jan 25, 2024 |
Beautiful story

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the way it told of their background. Learning about Black Cake was very interesting. It had a ending that matched the writing. ( )
  Spiritrider1101 | Jan 18, 2024 |
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"In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother's death and her hidden past--a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake. In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking journey Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their family, and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor's true history, and fulfill her final request to 'share the black cake when the time is right?' Will their mother's revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever? Charmaine Wilkerson's debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch"--

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