In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a 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 tale 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 lineage 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.
Author: Charmaine Wilkerson
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Binding Type: Hardcover
Size: 9.30h x 6.20w x 1.60d
Library Journal Prepub Alert 09/01/2021 pg. 14
Publishers Weekly 12/13/2021
Booklist 01/01/2022 pg. 32
Library Journal 02/01/2022 pg. 66
Kirkus Reviews 02/15/2022
About the Author
Charmaine Wilkerson is an American writer who has lived in the Caribbean and is based in Italy. She is a former journalist and recovered marathon runner whose short stories have been published in the United States and the United Kingdom. She has won awards for her short fiction and for the indie novella How to Make a Window Snake and has participated in several residential writing programs including Hedgebrook, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Bread Loaf Conferences. Black Cake is her first novel.