The Wedding Gift

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden - 329 pages
Book Blurb:
When prestigious plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah—her slave and her half-sister.  Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not a proper southern belle she appears to be with ambitions of loving who she chooses and Sarah equally hides behind the façade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible and it will leave you enraptured until the very end.
Told through alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius’ wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden's The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait that will leave readers breathless.
My Review: 3 stars
This book reads quickly and it’s is a definite page turner. I liked Sarah. She was a spirited child who questioned her given lot as a slave and as a woman. As the bastard daughter of the master, she is also the best friend of his wife’s daughter, Clarissa. The plot has twists and turns however I felt the slave master, his wife and some of the other characters to be one- dimensional as well as stereotypical. I felt most sorry for the moms in the book who were so often separated from their children as punishment and of course women in general, who were simply property. Although I liked the book, I often felt that I was being told the story rather than living it through the development of characters and plot. The end was satisfying yet quickly wrapped up.
Quotes I liked:
- “There are some matters that I tell no one. The truth is, there is a ball made of steel lodged within my heart and nothing will ever melt that ball of steel. The ball of steel has expanded in bulk throughout the years, but it has been there as long as my earliest memories, from when I was about six years old and those foul and rank men, armed with weapons, ransacked our home to search for for evidence that we were planning to escape that abyss. The ball of steel is made of hurt, and it is always there, even when I am happy or even jubilant. If the ball of steel were not embedded within my breast, I surely would see life differently than I now do. Without the ball of steel, I would be merry and laugh often;yet, paradoxically, without the ball of steel, I would not have learned to appreciate the grandeur of the state of being free.”
Tags: 2013, Historical Fiction, Book Club, Slavery

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