Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: Black Cake

Black CakeBlack Cake
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.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Perfect Nanny

The Perfect Nanny

The Perfect Nanny
By Leila Slimani, Sam Taylor (Translated by)
Penguin Books, 9780143132172, 2018, 240pp.

The Short of It:

This is a one-sitting read.

The Rest of It:

Myriam is offered a job at a law office, doing what she loves and misses, but what about her two young children? After having her son, she pretty much removed the topic of work from the conversation but the everyday routine of kids, house, errands, with little mental stimulation if any, begins to tear at her sanity. While talking to her husband about the opportunity, the possibility of a nanny comes up. Could that work?

No. It couldn’t possibly work. Who would be able to spend all that time with the children, raise them well, AND take care of all the other stuff too? Louise, that’s who. Louise is perfect. She’s tidy, a natural organizer, efficient, reliable to a fault, and she does what many do not. She plays with the children. She gets them. Understands their wants and moods and more importantly, she understands their parents too. She is the envy of all the other families at the park because she is too good to be true.

Let that sink in. Too good to be true.

As perfect as Louise is, everyone has a breaking point and Louise’s is very subtle at first. Her backstory gives you just enough to know that Louise wasn’t always perfect and things were not always storybook worthy. This little bit of info is enough to have you flipping the pages because from the very first line, you learn that things go terribly wrong.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I did not expect to be sucked into the story so quickly but that opening line! I was supposed to be reading this with a friend but once I started, I just kept going. All that said, the ending was a bit of a shock. I seriously need to talk to someone who has read it.

If you need a book to escape into, this is it. Another blogger just pointed out to me that this is based on a 2012 case. REAL events. Wow.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.