Black Cake (Hardback)
  • Black Cake (Hardback)
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Black Cake (Hardback)

(author)
£14.99
Hardback 400 Pages
Published: 03/02/2022

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Waterstones Says

A puzzling inheritance in the form of a wealth of secrets and requests changes the lives of Byron and Benny as they are reunited at their estranged mother’s funeral in Wilkerson’s immersive, stunningly assured debut.

Everyone wants to discover what they're made of...

Juggling lives and crossing continents, Black Cake is the extraordinary story of how the inheritance of secrets, betrayal and memories can shape a family for generations.

We can't go to the island, Bryon. We don't really know what we're getting into ...

Eleanor Bennett won't let her own death get in the way of the truth. So when her estranged children - Byron and Benny - reunite for her funeral in California, they discover a puzzling inheritance.

First, a voice recording in which everything Byron and Benny ever knew about their family is upended. Their mother narrates a tumultuous story about a headstrong young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder, a story which cuts right to the heart of the rift that's separated Byron and Benny.

Second, a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe with a long history that Eleanor hopes will heal the wounds of the past. Can Byron and Benny fulfil their mother's final request to 'share the black cake when the time is right'?

Will Eleanor's revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241529928
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 514 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 36 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Unputdownable. Astonishing. Twists and turns so shocking they will leave your head spinning and your heart aching - Grazia

An extremely assured debut which pulls in threads and echoes from across the Caribbean diaspora to deliver a rich, complex and really satisfying novel - Alison Finch, BBC Radio 4

A delicious novel. The chapters come fast and furious . . . A satisfying literary meal, heralding the arrival of a new novelist to watch - Independent

Black Cake is a beautiful, deeply resonant story of children trying to understand the mother they have lost. Charmaine Wilkerson transports you across the decades and the globe accompanied by complex, wonderfully drawn characters. She has managed to tell a story that is as meaningful as it is delicious. At turns delightfully juicy and then stunningly wise, Black Cake is a winner - Taylor Jenkins Reid, Sunday Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and The Six

Black Cake explores the ways we use meals not just to nourish ourselves but to help tell unspeakable stories. Family, food, festering resentment - you'll find plenty to chew on . . . Wilkerson approaches her plot like a mad chef, grabbing ingredients from all over the world, slicing and dicing with abandon, tossing characters and palm fronds and a few drops of rum into a pot and letting it all come to a simmer . . . A roiling soup of family secrets, big lies, great loves, bright colours and strong smells - New York Times

I was instantly taken in by this multi-generational tale of identity, family, and the lifelong push and pull of home. This novel has a tremendous heart at its centre, and I felt its beat on every page. What an extraordinary debut - Mary Beth Keane, bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

A special, beautifully written novel that's as rich and intoxicating as the Jamaican rum cake of its title - Good Housekeeping

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. My heart broke and was put back together. Bravo - Nikki May, author of Wahala

I [. . .] was immediately drawn in - Bonnie Garmus, bestselling author of Lessons in Chemistry, i

I loved the brilliant writing, the characters and the clever and beautiful way the story melded together. A stunning book - Prima, 'BOOK OF THE MONTH'

Wilkerson explores the nuances of racial identity and betrayal in a powerful novel - Vogue

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. I felt nearly breathless while reading Eleanor's truth - as if I were right there in the room with Byron and Benny, wholly immersed in their mother's tragedies and triumphs - Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal and Nev

A stunning page-turner, with characters that felt real and relatable. I can't recommend this book highly enough. An incredible debut - Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City

Black Cake took a hold of me from the first page and didn't let go ... A gripping, poignant debut from an important new voice - Naima Coster, New York Times bestselling author of What’s Mine and Yours

A sparkling debut, which examines migration, estrangement and the stories we tell about ourselves - METRO

Included in 'The books we're looking forward to in 2022' - Good Housekeeping

This powerful debut about family and identity, set against a backdrop of Caribbean culture, history and traditions, already has the stamp of approval from Oprah - Heat

A powerful, beautiful debut - Woman's Own

A multi-generational debut generating hype - Grazia

You can't help but fall in love with this book - Stylist

Utterly engrossing and full of twists, Black Cake is absolutely worth the calories - Red

A testimony to how migration, memories and the life decisions of our elders can trickle down the generations and shape us. The careful cultural references to the Caribbean diaspora are deliciously nostalgic - I couldn't get enough! - Good Housekeeping, Books of the Year

A shining family saga . . . Readers will adore this highly accomplished effort from a talented new writer - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

A heartfelt story of loss, lies and reconciliation - Daily Mail

Black Cake is such an engaging novel. The structure works brilliantly with its dual narrative and short, sharp chapters. As I read, I felt like I could taste the sweet and spice of the black cake that links generations of the same family. Wilkerson's Black Cake is filled with secrets, family ties and hidden desires. It is an extremely satisfying read that stays with you long after the final page. As moreish as its title. If you want to be transported, read this book - Jodie Chapman, author of Another Life

A family drama meets murdery mystery - Sunday Times

The perfect recipe for an epic family drama . . . Feuds, grief, and a murder make Charmaine Wilkerson's Black Cake unputdownable - Grazia Book Club Online

One of the most feverishly anticipated debuts of the year - Daily Mail

A delicious and gripping tale that sweeps the reader across decades and continents - Guardian

I really savoured this rich, layered family saga ... Charmaine's writing is subtle and lyrical, pulling you into a powerful story of secrets, roots and identity. The flavour of it will linger long after you've finished - Beth Morrey, bestselling author of Saving Missy

An extraordinary debut - Hello!

A sweeping story, with Wilkerson masterfully bringing together all the different threads, making social history the backbone of everything - Independent

Completely blew me away ... I loved the brilliant writing, the characters and the clever and beautiful way the story melded together ... this is a stunning book - Red, Book of the Month

Delving into ideas around identity, familial bonds and lifelong secrets, Black Cake looks to be a wildly moreish page-turner - Refinery29

Touching on racism and acceptance, betrayal and loyalty, this emotional, heartfelt debut explores the meaning of home and the family that define it - Daily Express

A delight to read, each page of Black Cake is more interesting than the last. Wilkerson weaves social history into the backbone of the story, in a way that's nothing short of masterful - Courier

This emotional, heartfelt debut explores the meaning of home and the family that define it - Sunday Express

A skilful debut about family secrets - and food - i news

A wonderful immersive experience - Daily Mail

A beautiful read - a real pageturner - Women's Hour, BBC Radio 4

A delight to read, each page of Black Cake is more interesting than the last. Wilkerson weaves social history into the backbone of the story, in a way that's nothing short of masterful. - Herald

A resonant story of identity, family and the meaning of home - Mail on Sunday

A delight to read, each page of Black Cake is more interesting than the last. Wilkerson masterfully weaves social history into the backbone of the story - Press Association

Prepare to be hooked - The Handbook

Impressive - Evening Standard

A rich story around immigration and identity ... the novel beautifully captures the struggles of family and identity and the liberation that comes from those struggles - Irish TImes

Engrossing . . . Wilkerson's brilliant descriptions are positively sumptuous for the mind's eye - Heromag

An incredible family saga spanning 60 years, jumping across continents and time, forming a multi-layered book about secrets and inheritance - Guardian.com

A delicious and gripping tale that sweeps the reader across decades and continents, turning everything the siblings think they know about themselves and their family on its head' - Jyoti Patel, Guardian

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“Brilliant Story teller”

Wonderful tale of complex family history retold brilliantly through the eyes of the various characters. Hard to anticipate the developing story, keeping the reader tantalisingly entrapped. A unique legacy in the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 48

“Delicious debut…”

The story starts with a mother’s long voice recordings left to estranged siblings Benny and Byron; full of detail about their past and revealing for the first time some long held secrets. The story spans many decades... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 39

“A stunning sweeping family drama with many layers to be discovered”

This is one of my favourite types of book- one that spans decades and oceans with ease and weaves a true tale of humanity. Of love and loss and tradition and culture and what it means to belong. I was completely... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 23

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