Catalog

Record Details

Catalog Search



Black cake : a novel  Cover Image Book Book

Black cake : a novel / Charmaine Wilkerson.

Record details

  • ISBN: 0593358333 : HRD
  • ISBN: 9780593358337 : HRD
  • ISBN: 9780593358337
  • ISBN: 0593358333
  • Physical Description: pages cm
  • Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2022]

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject: Brothers and sisters > Fiction.
Mothers > Death > Fiction.
Families > Fiction.
Genre: Novels.

Available copies

  • 30 of 68 copies available at Bibliomation. (Show)
  • 3 of 3 copies available at Bridgeport Public Library.

Holds

  • 12 current holds with 68 total copies.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Black Rock Branch - Bridgeport FIC WILKERSON (Text) 34000151318698 Adult New Fiction Available -
Burroughs-Saden Main - Bridgeport FIC WILKERSON (Text) 34000151309630 Adult New Fiction Available -
Newfield Branch - Bridgeport FIC WILKERSON (Text) 34000151309622 Adult New Fiction Available -

Loading...
Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 0593358333
Black Cake : A Novel
Black Cake : A Novel
by Wilkerson, Charmaine
Rate this title:
vote data
Click an element below to view details:

BookList Review

Black Cake : A Novel

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

In her beautifully poignant debut novel, Wilkerson explores how secrets kept and stories left untold can "matter even more than the things we do say." Eleanor Bennet's final bequest, an audio recording and a homemade Caribbean black cake stowed in the freezer, puzzles her grieving children, Benny and Byron. The story that emerges upends everything the estranged brother and sister thought they knew about their family and themselves. In 1965, a young woman fleeing an arranged marriage and suspicion of murder disappears into the surf. Cutting all ties, she crosses oceans, reinvents herself, and makes heartbreaking choices to take control of her life and, she hopes, reunite with her first love. Wilkerson uses one Caribbean American family's extraordinary tale to probe universal issues of identity and how the lives we live and the choices we make leave "a trail of potential consequences" that pass down through generations. She is a masterful storyteller. Black Cake's complex plot unfolds in vignettes that alternate among different times, places, and viewpoints, evoking her children's bewilderment as they absorb Eleanor's account. Memorable, fully developed characters ground a story that spans decades and continents. Vivid symbolism and imagery enhance the narrative's "fable-like" tone, as when Byron imagines her mother's black cake recipe as an "incantation calling up a line from her true past."HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Advance raves and the news that a Hulu series is in development with Oprah Winfrey will stoke interest in Wilkerson's assured first novel.

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 0593358333
Black Cake : A Novel
Black Cake : A Novel
by Wilkerson, Charmaine
Rate this title:
vote data
Click an element below to view details:

Library Journal Review

Black Cake : A Novel

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

DEBUT Wilkerson's debut brings together two estranged siblings after the death of their mother, Eleanor. Byron, a successful biologist, has stuck by his family through his father's and now his mother's deaths. After 10 years apart, he sees his sister Benny at the reading of their mother's will. The siblings, who used to be inseparable, are instructed to listen to a recording their mother left, then share the black cake (her old family recipe for special occasions) "when the time is right." The recording reveals a hidden past filled with tragedy and heartache neither child could have imagined. The siblings learn about Covey, who lives in the Caribbean, is abandoned by her mother at an early age, and falls for a boy named Gibbs. When Covey is accused of murder, she leaves home with only a wooden box and her mother's black cake recipe. The story moves to Britain, where Covey experiences more tragedy. Byron and Benny learn the sacrifices, hardships, and sorrow their mother endured, while finding out more about themselves and their identities. VERDICT Already picked up by Oprah's Harpo Films, Wilkerson's novel jumps between Covey's life and Byron's and Benny's in the current day. This engrossing read is highly recommended.--Brooke Bolton

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 0593358333
Black Cake : A Novel
Black Cake : A Novel
by Wilkerson, Charmaine
Rate this title:
vote data
Click an element below to view details:

Publishers Weekly Review

Black Cake : A Novel

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Wilkerson debuts with a shining family saga that stretches from the 1960s Caribbean to present-day Southern California. After septuagenarian Eleanor Bennett dies, her lawyer plays a lengthy message she has recorded for her children Byron and Benny. The siblings have made for uneasy company with each other since a rift grew between them--Byron, the oldest, is laser-focused on his career, while his sister Benny is drifting. They knew their mother as a stern presence and an accomplished swimmer from somewhere in the Caribbean (who was also known to bake a rum and port soaked "black cake" from an old family recipe), but neither is prepared for what they learn from the recording. Eleanor is in fact Coventina "Covey" Lyncook, who was married off to a gangster named Little Man in 1965 by her debt-ridden father. At the wedding, Little Man drops dead, poisoned. Covey runs from the scene and, knowing she will be suspected of murder, swims away from the island. At first shocked by the revelations, Byron and Benny reconcile, and their mother's instructions to share a black cake she'd left in the freezer "when the time is right" take on great poignancy. Wilkerson offers superb descriptions of Covey's homeland, from the tension between those who speak patois and those who believe in the superiority of standard English, to sensual descriptions of food, surfing, and coastal terrain. Readers will adore this highly accomplished effort from a talented new writer. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary. (Feb.)


Additional Resources