- Audio CD: 9 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (24 September 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1427232970
- ISBN-13: 978-1427232977
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.7 x 15.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
The Wedding Gift: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
"If I were you, I wouldn't make any plans for the rest of the day. You have in your hands a story of the tangled motives and self-destructive passions when whites and blacks became this close during the time of slavery--all told at a pell mell pace." --Tom Wolfe, New York Times bestselling and Award-winning author of Back to Blood
"Bodden wraps some of the most complex issues facing the world today, slavery, racism, misogyny, and violence in an unflinching tall tale about an American family that is black and white. This compelling and fierce historical novel, where the slave master gives his white daughter his black daughter as a wedding gift, is set in the big house of a wealthy plantation before the Civil War and is based on a court case from the 1840s in Talladega, Alabama." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
"Fascinating, intriguing--a great story!" --Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House
"The WEDDING GIFT is powerful and absorbing. Ms. Bodden's story-telling skills are on fine display in this intricately-plotted novel as she unflinchingly transports the reader to the most tragic, brutal time in the country's past. The characters are exceptionally well-rendered; the sense of who they are lingers beyond the last page. The author astutely captures the complexities of the relationships--especially between the enslaved black women and the oppressed white women. Also masterfully captured here is the boundless quest to live fully free." --Diane McKinney-Whetstone, author of Tumbling
"The strength of the novel is its slave narrative tone and its ability to demonstrate the pain of being owned by another human being. Many have heard of slavery; few know this story. It's too important to overlook." --Daniel Black, author of Twelve Gates to the City
About the Author
MARLEN SUYAPA BODDEN is a lawyer at The Legal Aid Society in New York City, the nation's oldest and largest law firm for the poor. She drew on her knowledge of modern and historical slavery, human trafficking, and human rights abuses to write The Wedding Gift, her first novel. Marlen is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Tufts University. In 2012, the University of Rhode Island awarded Marlen an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Jenna Lamia is the acclaimed narrator of Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which won a YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults award, and Carol Lynch Williams's The Chosen One, for which Jenna received the 2010 solo narration (female) Audie Award. Lamia made her Broadway debut in 1988 in Ah, Wilderness, and she's also appeared off-Broadway in The Glory Of Living, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Her other acting credits include appearances on Oz, Law & Order: SVU, The Jury, and NYPD Blue. She's also appeared in the films The Fighter, The Box, and Something's Wrong in Kansas.She attended Amherst College, New York University, and the Sorbonne in Paris.
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Strong, female characters drive the action and development of the story in "The Wedding Gift". Theodora Allen, plantation mistress, is an intellectual. She silently suffers Cornelius Allen's infidelity and his cruelty. Rebelling quietly and knowing that Sarah will learn to read and write, Theodora allows Sarah to be present during Clarissa's lessons. In order to protect her daughters and potentially win their freedom, Emmeline tolerates a forced relationship with Cornelius and endures it throughout the novel. Aware of Cornelius's physical and emotional abuse of Theodora, Emmeline comforts and supports her. Sarah has planned her escape from slavery since her youth; she takes matters into her own hands rather than waiting to be freed. Only Clarissa seems to be submissive; her rebellion and strength are not revealed until the novel ends. Male characters in "The Wedding Gift", with few exceptions, are self-centered and morally corrupt.
Marlen Suypapa Bodden's writing moves the novel rapidly through the years and the lives of the characters. She does not sugarcoat the violence or savagery associated with the plantation system and slavery. Rape scenes are not graphic, but leave no doubt in the reader's mind that the abuse occurred. Only the last few chapters of "The Wedding Gift" slowed and required an effort to continue reading. However, the final revelation was a complete surprise and made even those slower portions of the novel worthwhile. I will be recommending "The Wedding Gift" to those who enjoy a well written historical novel that is character driven and is not a cookie-cutter story.
What made this book so very interesting, along with the lives of slaves, was the way white men treated white women. This is something that has been pretty much overlooked when we study the history of America.
I feel the author did a great, great job of portraying slavery. She didn't dwell on the atrocities only, but much of her story was about an aristocratic family that treated their slaves fairly, considering the mindset and politics of that time period. Also, it was written very true to the times then. I didn't see any modern cliches as I do in some historical novels.
I am not a writer, but I think it is very well written. I read through several of the one star reviews and I couldn't disagree more.
To be clear, I do not know this author, and as I read the book, I didn't know if a black or white woman wrote it, until I came here to write my review and saw her picture. My review is not to profit anyone.
I won't re-tell what the story is about, as you can read that in other reviews.