I chose to read BLACK CAKE by Charmaine Wilkerson for several reasons. First, I’m focusing my book choices on authors of color because I’ve taken the #23FOR23 challenge and I am loving it. It’s turning out to be one long forehead smack. Second, it popped up on Audible as a book I would like based on my previous selections. Third, a writer friend whose taste I admire said she loved the book. And fourth, I’ve made Black Cake before—not the Island version, but rather Emily Dickenson’s version. Oddly, the recipes are not at all that different, but my Emily Dickenson recipe did not turn out well. Nevertheless, I’m going to give the Island recipe a try. This novel, this amazing debut novel, is worthy of all the awards. It’s a sweeping family saga much like Ken Follet’s Century Trilogy only it’s all in one heartbreaking, uplifting, bittersweet novel. It deals with secrets and why we keep them, friendship that endures, acceptance and understanding between parents and adult children, and the ache of never feeling like you’re “enough.” Most of all, I loved the theme of forgiveness. Forgiving parents for their weaknesses, forgiving friends who let you down, forgiving children for their selfishness, and forgiving yourself for your failures and wrong thinking. It ends in hope, the very best ending. #23for23

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