WilmU Book Club

April 2023  |  Black Cake: A Novel

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
12:00pm ET

Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni are all welcome!
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Please join the WilmU Book Club for an online discussion of "Black Cake: A Novel" by Charmaine Wilkerson. 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. (Taken directly from “Black Cake: A Novel” by Charmaine Wilkerson.)

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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 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? (Taken directly from “Black Cake: A Novel” by Charmaine Wilkerson.)

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