Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake

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.

This story begins in the present with siblings, Byron and Benny dealing with their mother, Eleanor Bennett’s death. Once very close, the siblings have barely spoken since Benny walked out the day she tried to explain who and what she was to her family.

Neither of them wants to be sitting with their mothers’ long-time friend and lawyer listening to what their mother has left for them. Recordings of a story. Of her past and how they all came to be what they are now. A story that starts on an island and goes to London and California. A story of a girl who loved the sea. A girl whose drunken father sold her to a horrible excuse of a man. A girl who runs into the sea in her wedding dress to escape.

It is also about friendships, race, and betrayal. About long-held secrets and even a secret child. And of course, the black cake. Their inheritance. The cake they will share with their sister when they find her. Full of misunderstandings, secrets, and injustices, this is one of the most beautifully written books I have read. What a joy to have read this debut novel!

NetGalley/February 1st, 2022 by Ballantine Books




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