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The Wedding Gift
Based on real events, in which a man gifts his black daughter to his white...
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Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

Created: 09/24/13

Replies: 23

Posted Sep. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 14

Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I thought Clarissa would have a affair with the first young man she went with not Isaac. I never had a clue that she wanted Isaac and it seemed out of character that she would ruin her social standing. She was spoiled and willful but had always been willing to maintain her social standing.


Posted Sep. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rosemarys

Join Date: 05/29/11

Posts: 11

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

Isaac was very handsome, dressed in fine attire, and attracted the attention of women. Once I read he was out most nights, I knew he was seeing someone. When Isaac questioned Sarah about the news of Clarissa's pregnancy, I knew the baby was his. His reaction was not a normal response.
Living with Cornelius, such a dominating father, perhaps one of the ways Clarissa could rebel against her father and his strict rules, was to sleep with one of his slaves. Maybe Clarissa felt the need to prove her "supremacy" by sleeping with her childhood friend's husband.


Posted Sep. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shellyb

Join Date: 07/04/11

Posts: 11

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I was totally surprised with this affair. I did not see this coming. In hindsight, maybe I should have, but it was a shock to me.


Posted Sep. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

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RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

Yes & no.

Yes, because I don't think there were many hints dropped in the book that the woman he was involved with was Clarissa.
No (in hindsight), because, as Rosemary points out, it would have been a perfect act of rebellion.

I was very confused about the whole baby thing. I didn't once think the objection was that the child was full-term, and thought right away that it was a race issue. But it never crossed my mind that the child was Isaac's.


Posted Sep. 26, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 105

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RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I assume Navy Mom meant that when she wrote her surprise that Clarrisa was with a black man--NM, excuse my not remembering that! Not only was Isaac a first cousin of Sarah but also a first cousin of Clarissa so it looks like a lot of hanky-panky going on. Yes, I was surprised; didn't dawn on me that Isaac's tending of the tired horses all night had another meaning. I believed him!


Posted Sep. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rosemarys

Join Date: 05/29/11

Posts: 11

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

After reading more of these posts, I wonder if I am just more suspicious or cynical than most. I did guess what was going on with Isaac and Clarissa. I wonder if I would have figured it out if I was younger than 50+, or as I read more I can often see things coming in the plot... Just a thought!


Posted Sep. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

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RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I think you're just really perceptive, Rosemary! I'm over 50 and I think I'm pretty well-read, but I didn't see that or any of the other plot twists coming.


Posted Sep. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rosemarys

Join Date: 05/29/11

Posts: 11

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

Thanks kimk,I'm so glad it's not my age, cynicism, or suspicious nature!
Once the author mentioned Isaac's busy night schedule, i guess I became very perceptive. I am surprised that Sarah, such a bright woman, never suspected anything sooner. Perhaps she just couldn't handle the betrayal, or she was so accustomed to the men around her being unfaithful and disrespectful to women.


Posted Sep. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I did not anticipate the affair but I gathered he was quite good looking. Once he started being away however i felt felt he was with Clarissa. I did feel it was well presented by the author. I was more surprised by how Clarissa 's mother handled the grandchild.

Peggy H


Pegh
Posted Sep. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lifeski

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 3

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I thought the affair with Issac was rather out of character for Clarissa who was very class conscious. I expected her to be having an affair of the heart with the first you gentleman but never a slave. In the days before reliable birth control the risk would have been tremendous for both Clarissa and Issac. For Clarissa social ruin and castration or death for Issac if they were caught.


Posted Sep. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
EricaM

Join Date: 09/29/13

Posts: 2

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I was surprised by the affair as Clarissa did not seem to have sufficient interest in Isaac (neither did Sarah for that matter). It seemed more of a device than a natural progression of a relationship that was developed by the author.


Posted Sep. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianem

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 27

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I had no clue about her affair with Isaac, but now looking back I wondered why there was no attempt to be with the other guy. Did she hope that the baby wouldn't have the racial characteristics of Isaac? What choice did she have?


Posted Sep. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 14

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I thought much the same as Lifeski. I thought It was out of character for Clarissa to risk social ruin. I thought it would be more like her to fool around with the first young man who courted her.


Posted Oct. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathygant

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 12

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I knew something was going on when Isaac was "tending the tired horses" most nights. Did not suspect that he was with Clarissa. If they had been caught, Isaac would have been whipped to death. I guess if it was alright for the masters to have affairs, in Clarissa's mind it, was alright for the others in the households to do the same.
Clarissa was risking social ruin. She did not seem the type. To me, that part of the story was unrealistic.


Posted Oct. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 14

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I also thought Isaac was seeing someone but I didn't think it was Clarissa. I thought Clarissa was seeing the first young man. I didn't think either Clarissa or Isaac would risk a relationship with each other. Relationships between black men and white women were rare at that time because of the great risks of social ruin for the woman. The man would most likely be killed or castrated. I wonder if the author considered the historical times enough when she wrote this part of the story.


Posted Oct. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sandra54

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 43

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I did not see Clarissa's affair with Isaac coming either. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the twists and turns that I did not see coming.


Posted Oct. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 41

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

It didn't surprise me that Issac was with someone when he was out most of the night. However, it did not enter my mind that he was with Clarissa. I can't imagine him taking a chance by being with her...the consequences he would have if it was found out. But since this is based on a true story, and the results of them being together triggered many of the events that followed, I assume this part was not fictionalized. I cannot believe that Clarissa slept with a slave- as class conscious as she was. She did grow up with Sarah, so maybe she didn't see "color" as some others at the time would have. It would seem that either she was extremely attracted to him or she was rebelling against her father. I don't think it was a love thing- when would love have even had time to develop? Issac was a busy man, although Clarrisa had more time on her hands.


Posted Oct. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
hazeyr

Join Date: 03/24/12

Posts: 9

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I knew Clarrisa was having an affair, but I was surprised that it was with Isaac.


Posted Oct. 13, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 5

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I was totally surprised!! Loved the twist....I did not suspect at all. I was led by the story line that it was the other young man. I am rather embarrassed that I didn't get it even after the baby was born....couldn't figure out what everyone saw int the baby. Never suspected. That is why I enjoyed the book so much!


Posted Oct. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 26

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I was to totally surprised. I thought she was with the young man mentioned early in the book. Even more surprising was her relation to him.


Posted Oct. 31, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 127

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RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

Although it was a surprise in some ways, I had one of those "gut feelings" that something was up the moment I read the sentence about trusting Clarissa to be sent off with just 2 slaves as escorts. This entire episode made me think of Kate Chopin's story "Desiree's Baby" (a story that was shocking at the time of its publication.) It is interesting and yet also a sad commentary on the whole slave era of the United States that a person was never able to stop being classified as 'black' no matter how small the percentage of African genealogy there might actually be. And the various shades of lighter 'black' skin that quickly become evident in old American photos show that despite the rigid prejudice on the outside, there was a lot of behind-the-scenes mingling going on. That makes Clarissa's involvement completely plausible.


Posted Nov. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
thewanderingjew

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 5

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I was shocked. I had heard that the masters had affairs with their slaves, but never the mistresses. Also, she was so close to Sarah, I was completely surprised and disgusted by her betrayal. I don't know how she expected to pass the child off as her husband's, unless she was completely ignorant about reproductive science, which may be possible considering when it took place.
Betrayal, of one kind or another, seemed to be a major theme throughout the book.


Posted Dec. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 116

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RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I was surprised. I thought she was probably having an affair with Mr. Evans since the book kept emphasizing how she liked him. But perhaps since her parents would not let her marry Mr. Evans she decided to get them back by being with one of the slaves.


Posted Mar. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 13

RE: Was anyone else surprised by Clarissa having a affair with Isaac?

I thought he was cheating on Sarah because she mentions that he is coming in very late. I did not think he was cheating with Clarissa.


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