Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson

Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian

Byron and Benny know their parents are from the Caribbean and while they speak fondly of their homeland they never returned. Yet their mom’s famous black cake, made for every special occasion, was a large part of their childhood. After their mother dies the estranged siblings are ordered to reunite for the reading of their mom’s will and share the last frozen black cake when the time is right. Byron and Benny need to face their past and conflicting emotions as they listen to hours of their deceased mom’s voice on a recording as she tells her story. A story about hardships the siblings never knew as they discover their parent’s past and reflect upon their future.

How well do we know our parents? What was their life like before their children were born? Why is talking and being heard and understood by family so darn hard? Why is it that the books you adore are the hardest ones to write about? All you want to scream is “READ THIS BOOK NOW!” and that’s exactly what I want to do for this one. Please, read this book. Fans of character studies, family sagas, secrets, resolutions, those who love to read, anyone will find something here.