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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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Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

Created: 07/18/13

Replies: 49

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

Join Date: 10/01/12

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I am completely in agreement with Beckyh, the writing was almost amateur. The attempt at dialect was so inconsistent that I hold the editors accountable. I love southern literature and this genre is right up my alley so I was excited to read this but in the end I was extremely disappointed. Often characters would have epiphanies way beyond their year, just to tie a storyline up.. A friend saw this on my nightstand and wanted a good book but I gave her something else instead. To use the NYT Sunday magazine word I thought it was just "meh"


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

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

Overall I did enjoy the book but found the characters inconsistent. Having the narrative come from the plantation owner's wife and his illegitimate daughter was an interesting concept that only partially worked for me. The book definitely pulled me in and I never considered not finishing it. The ending was fairly unbelievable but it did make for a good story.


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

Join Date: 07/18/13

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I enjoyed very much! I was completely taken back by the ending. Parts of the book did make me extremely unhappy with our country's history. I was also amazed by the female characters and how strong that they had to be. I passed this book on and will be recommending for discussion in my book club.


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

Join Date: 09/29/13

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

overall, i really liked the book. The pace of the last part of the book dramatically sped up. This I did not like. The characters were believable. The story, probably, very common for that time period. I think the author did a respectable job.


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

Join Date: 09/29/13

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I had recently read The Secrets of Mary Bowser and I assume that I was expecting a similar novel. I don't know whether my disappointment was because I did not feel that The Wedding Gift was up to the level of Mary Bowser or whether I was disappointed because of its own failings. While obviously well-researched, the book failed to develop any emotional depth. It could have been a magazine or newspaper article simply reporting the action rather than the heartfelt description by either Sarah or Theodora. There was virtually no change in tone from one narrator to the other - neither brought forth any passion in anything they reported. While a good story, it suffered substantially for this lack


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

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 24

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I really liked the book. Not only was it about the relationship of the slaves to their masters but also about the status of women at the time. I was thinking earlier in the story that Theodora should have poisoned her husband for all the times he abused her but that was the status of women at the time.


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

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I also thought that this book wasn't just about race but also about womens lack of any rights. In many ways Theodora was also a slave. Just as slaves depended on their masters women also were dependent on their husbands or fathers.


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

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

As far as research goes, the book was very interesting. Unfortunately, I would not recommend THE WEDDING GIFT. I found it hard to read due to Bodden's writing style which was choppy and erratic. As someone else wrote, I felt like I was "reading a book" rather than involved in a compelling story.


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

Join Date: 04/16/13

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I was not worried about research, clunky writing, etc...I was, simply, engrossed in the story. Parts shone, parts were lacking, but overall, I would recommend this one. I felt the pain of slavery, through Sarah's and Emmeline's eyes, and of choices made and choices thrust upon them. I loved that the ending was unexpected; I can see this one making the rounds of our high school!


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

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 27

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I've read many historical novels with slavery as the main focus. Although this was not what I would classify as a beautifully written or literary book, I though it was an excellent book. It was written in a straightforward way and was informative. I really liked the chapers being from the two different points of view- slave and plantation owner's wife. The ending was far fetched...but as they say, "truth is stranger than fiction". And this book was based on a true story. I'd love to know where the main plot veered from the truth. I assume the main events did occur as they were written in this book and it was just the subplots and dialogue that were fictionalized?


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

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

It wasn't as well written as some recent books on slavery. I did like the different voices.

PegH


Pegh
Posted Nov. 20, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbaraz

Join Date: 07/26/13

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I think this is an excellent choice for book clubs. There were so many issues to discuss. I would say that we ,as a group, found it curious that the plantation owners wives would be tolerant of their husbands (and sons) taking slaves was sexual partners and having their children as house slaves.


Posted Nov. 20, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

In reply to barbaraz I think the wives of plantation owners had no choice but to accept what their husbands did with the slaves. This was a time when women had very few options and very little power over their own lives. They were better off then the slaves but only by a small amount. Reading this book made me see how very far women have come and I'm glad I didn't live in this part of history.


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

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I really liked the book. I thought it presented a different version of the life of a slave than I had read about previously. I learned that they set up communities of their own, as best they could, and were very resilient in the face of horrible oppression.


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

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 96

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Wedding Gift?

I enjoyed the book much more than I expected. I did have a little trouble with the alternating narratives. This was only because sometimes the next chapter happened before the previous chapter. For example, the Allens getting notice that they were sending Clarissa back after the baby was born (Theodora's perspective). Then the next chapter (Sarah's perspective) having Clarissa go into labor. But overall I thought the book was well written. I had trouble putting the book down and it's been a while since I read a book that had me that involved.


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