Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden

Back Cover:

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 fa├žade 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:

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden is a poignant portrayal of what it means to be free in American’s deep south. It is a tale of two half-sisters, one born from a black slave and the other born from a white southern belle. The two are raised together, yet they each overcome restrictions imposed upon them not only by their circumstances, but also by their color and society’s expectations.

The author did a wonderful job of drawing parallels between the main characters while demonstrating their differences. Truly, neither of the two women were completely free. The cruelties of slavery were well depicted, and often heart-wrenching to read, especially the forced separation of black families. As the story unfolds the reader will experience the brutality of the times along with the feelings of helplessness and desperation.

A wonderful story filled with plenty of emotion. A book that will keep you turning and turning the pages until the incredible ending! Highly recommended.

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