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The Wedding Gift

By Marlen Suyapa Bodden

The Wedding Gift
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013,
    320 pages.

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Becky H (09/14/13)

Read The Help or The Color Purple instead
I’m still not sure where or when the prologue was supposed to take place – perhaps it was a dream?

After some very stilted conversations and an inconsistent use of dialect, the story is interesting and holds your attention to the end. However, there are too many coincidences and the slaves are often well cared for (or allowed a lot of free time) by slave owners we are supposed to be appalled and repelled by. That is not to say slaves were not ill-treated and horribly abused, they were. Just that the depiction is as inconsistent as the dialect.

Fathers in the antebellum South are shown as overbearing, browbeating, abusive scoundrels. Mothers are meek and cowed. Sons are distant and uncaring. In other words many of the characters are caricatures. Still I enjoyed the book.

Book groups will be discussing slavery, abusive husbands and fathers, the role of women, education priorities, gossip and social ostracism among other topics. A comparison with The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird and/or The Color Purple would be an interesting discussion.
Anita Fitzwater-Stevens (09/06/13)

Disappointing
The Wedding Gift has two main characters that could be great. The wife of an abusive plantation master and his illegitimate daughter--they could tell us so much about the experiences of women of that time and place. But, this book falls far short of similar novels by telling in bland voices instead of showing the reader so they get drawn in. The most disappointing element is a shift at the very end of the novel that changes completely the reader's ideas about the main characters.
karen (09/02/13)

I loved this book
This is a well written book about slavery in the south. The characters are very real and you feel a connection to them. The book chapters are written from the perspective of different characters in the story. Like The Help and Kitchen Girl, this reviews a painful time of our history. The author writes in a style that is engaging and fast paced. I look forward to her second book.
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