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Black Cake
Charmaine Wilkerson
$28

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NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE - READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY - In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings 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.

"At turns delightfully juicy and then stunningly wise, Black Cake is a winner."--Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022--Glamour, Bustle, Marie Claire, Essence, Parade, Business Insider, Town & Country, Vulture, PopSugar, W magazine, BookPage

In development as a Hulu original series produced by Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Films), and Kapital Entertainment

We can't choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?

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 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.

BIO

Charmaine Wilkerson is an American writer who has lived in Jamaica and is based in Italy. A graduate of Barnard College and Stanford University, she is a former journalist whose award-winning short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. Black Cake is her first novel.

REVIEWS

"Exquisite and expansive, Black Cake took ahold of me from the first page and didn't let go. This is a novel about the formation and reformation of a family, and the many people, places, and events that can shape our inheritances without our knowing. A gripping, poignant debut from an important, new voice." --Naima Coster, New York Times bestselling author of What's Mine and Yours

"Black Cake has all the ingredients of the tastiest stories: secrets, romance, danger, and a cast of characters so real you want to scream at them one moment and hug them the next." --Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

"So beautifully written I'm struggling to believe it's a debut . . . The cake is the glue that holds all the layers together and the scenes are so well drawn I could almost taste the cake, feel the warm sea on my skin." --Nikki May, author of Wahala

[H] Ballantine Books  /  February 01, 2022

1.6" H x 9.3" L x 6.2" W (1.4 lbs) 400 pages