The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this story, it was an entertaining read, however, I had some real issues with how the plot played out and the big revelations at the end, which dropped my rating.
Sarah Campbell is a slave in Alabama, she is also the half sister of her mistress, Clarissa. They are raised together, playing and learning along with each other but when Clarissa marries Sarah and other slaves are given to her husbands family as part of her dowery, with Sarah remaining as Clarissa's maid. Once Clarissa and Sarah leave their home plantation things take a turn and secrets are revealed.
My main issues with this book include the dialogue, which was hard to follow and confusing often times. It was also inconsistent, some times the slaves and others used a local dialect, sometimes they didn't. The novel lacked continuity in that regard.
Additionally, the treatment of the slaves was sort of puzzling. The reader was often times reminded of how harsh plantation life was and all the do's and don'ts yet the slaves all seemed to have an unusual amount of freedom.
The scandal at the end really threw me, to many things were alluded to when they could have been explained earlier in the plot and it was all summed up to neatly and things that were done seemed out of character for many of the players involved.
Overall, it was a good entertaining read just be prepared to sort of shocked at the ending.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.
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