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.
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