Wow! This might be the best book I’ve read published in 2022.
“Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson is a rich, deep debut novel that covers some critical topics in our time of identity, sexual orientation, family dynamics, intergenerational tension, and much more with great ease.
Ms. Wilkerson weaves a narrative with these divisive themes seamlessly in a layer by layer reveal of mystery as the secrets of a woman’s life are slowly uncovered to reveal one bombshell after another. The book is told in a stream of consciousness that move people multiple family member and close family friends lives as their stories all are intertwined and different perspectives are shared at varying points in the timeline. Despite the juggling of multiple perspectives after different times, Ms. Wilkerson keeps a coherent story line that continues to bring readers along on every twist and turn of the tale. In the author’s note at the end of the book, Ms. Wilkerson calls the novel a ‘fable,’ which the differing points of view enhance and the perspectives provide a point of focus when she wants to hone in on a specific idea.
I really loved this book. Not only do the perspectives enhance the storytelling aspect of the book, but as you see the same situation through different points of view, you get insight into the feelings that character might have at different points, providing empathy for one’s own life and path and what they have been through, things known but also oftentimes unknown and hidden.
This was such a great book! I highly recommend it!!