By Charmaine Wilkerson
Ballantine Books, 9780593358351, November 2022, 416pp.
The Short of It:
This is a case of “like”, not love.
The Rest of It:
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. ~ Publisher
I had a really hard time finalizing my thoughts on this one, which is why it’s taken me so long to post the review. This book confused me. I really liked parts of it, but much of it is repetitive, in my opinion, and towards the end of the book I felt like little progress had been made with the story or the characters. I kept looking for growth but didn’t find it.
This was my book club’s pick for February and the host even made us a black cake, like the one in the book. Oh Nellie that cake had a ton of rum in it. Haha! We enjoyed it a little too much. Even with the added spirits in the form of rum and wine, we couldn’t find much to discuss. We all felt that the author could have done more with it. It was almost like she played it safe. I didn’t feel much for the characters and their actions were hard to explain. That said, I would probably pick up another book by this author because again, there were parts that I enjoyed. Other than that, I don’t have much to say about it.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
Last week I was MIA because I was trying to familiarize myself with the message that I was scheduled to give at church! I used to have a photographic memory but now, not so much. It took me all week to get it down. This is how I did it, on the couch with the pup on top of me. You can see her wondering when I am going to be done so we can go for a walk. The message went well. So happy that I was able to share.
This week I am playing catch-up with my reading because that took a backseat too as I worked on my message. Finishing Black Cake, which I wasn’t able to finish for book club last week. I am also reading Nightcrawling for March’s club pick. I’ve got a couple of review copies that I am dipping in and out of too.
This week, the city I live in is expecting SNOW. Can you believe it? It’s happened before but that was like ten years ago. We’ll see if it happens but the rest of this week is supposed to be full of weather and cold temps. I don’t have much going on this week except for a BP check at the doc’s office on Friday. My BP continues to be elevated. I need to walk more but these knees and all the trauma they’ve sustained are a real challenge.
Barring weather, this Saturday I’d like to go somewhere. Maybe a museum. The last few weekends we’ve not been able to do much because of our schedules. I’ve also been missing the harbor too but we can’t go there without the pup and she does not like rain or the cold in general so we will probably try to stay indoors somewhere.
I have a question for you. Are the malls where you are doing well? Our local mall is slowly dying. Stores close every day. But big shopping venues in Los Angeles continue to do well. I like having a local mall but it’s depressing to see its decline.
That’s it from me. I hope you are all doing well. I would like to slow everything down a bit because even with the weather coming, I am seeing hints of spring. I love spring but I do not love the hellish summers we have, so can we just sit in this season for a bit?