Black Cake: A Recipe Laden with Secrets?

A good book challenges us and makes us ask difficult questions, and Black Cake: A Novel by Charmaine Wilkerson does this expertly.

Melissa A. Matthews
Woman’s Rant

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​I stopped eating Black Cake when I reached the acceptable drinking age in my mother’s house. However, the memories of that childhood intoxication and those Christmas baking sessions with my granny and mum live in me. Perhaps that internal revelry and reverence drew me to the novel, Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. Nonetheless, it was not what spurred me to read this almost 400-page book in less than 24 hours.

A gripping tale of legacy, betrayal, and generational trauma, this book engrossed me. It also confronted me and my innate Caribbeanness. This was a story that could easily have been plucked from the overstuffed secret closet of every modern-day Caribbean family most especially my own.

The book begins with the death of the main character and the author builds a fabulous web of characters and subplots that suck you right into the center of not one life but three generations of a family as well as the impact of one person’s choices on everyone around them. Without giving everything away, the main character basically reveals to her children that she was not who they knew her to be and the book takes you on…

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