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Black Cake

I am finally rounding out my top reads of 2022. Hands down, Black Cake was the best book I read last year. I still think about that book today. Charmaine Wilkerson does a great job weaving family history, drama, and tension into one story. This novel had me thinking more about familial relationships and sacrifices our ancestors made to make sure we are who we are today. I was lucky enough to read this book while I was on vacation in Jamaica, which happens to be one of the backdrops of this story. This is a remarkable debut by an author that has officially become an automatic buy.

This novel follows estranged siblings who discover their mother's story after she passes away. Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake. This black cake comes from a family recipe with a long history and a voice recording left by Eleanor. 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. Will their mother's revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

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