Book of the Month: Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Hi folks,

It's another Book of the Month. Let's jump into it. The Book of this Month is Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. I went into this book really excited and just assumed it would be a HIT. I had really high hopes for this, and while in a lot of ways it met those expectations; in others, it fell short terribly. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's dive in.

Black Cake –  a debut novel – is about a woman, Eleanor Bennet, who has just died and left a puzzling mystery and inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake from long-running family recipe and a voice recording. Through the course of this message, Eleanor shares about her past, untold secrets, and a long-lost daughter (and sibling to Byron and Benny) that no one knew about. As this story unfolds, we learn about the memories, secrets, betrayals, and a thread of connections intricately woven by the author. The kicker is Eleanor has left a message that her kids can only eat this cake together with their long-lost sister (who they didn't know existed until the recording); and they have to do all of this while estranged from each other. Byron, a successful Ph.D. and Oceanologist, and Benny, a stubborn, spoiled-rotten queer artist living in New York must confront everything they knew about themselves, their mother, and their family. 

Friday Reflections

 1.) Happy New Month of February! This is a very Nigerian thing to do/say: "happy new month". But it's also the reminder of the importance of time, and endings, and beginnings. 

2.) Never ever underestimate yourself. I think it's fine for others to underestimate you (I quite like this) but it is important that you have an objective assessment of your abilities: don't give yourself more credit than is due but also don't underestimate yourself.

3.) Barbara Walter's final words on The View. What a Legend.