In 1852, when prestigious Alabama plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa's hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah—her slave and her half-sister. Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not the proper Southern belle she appears to be, with ambitions of loving whom she chooses. Sarah equally hides behind the façade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible. Told through the alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius' wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden's The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait of slavery and the 19th Century South that will leave readers breathless.
In this stunning debut, Marlen Suyapa Bodden effortlessly transports the reader to 1852 Alabama, where slavery and racism may rule the day, but everything isn't as black and white as it may seem. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Campbell is a housemaid to her half-sister Clarissa. Both daughters of plantation owner Mr. Allen, they secretly reject the roles they are expected to play. Sarah yearns for the day when she can escape slavery, while Clarissa is disinterested in her father's wishes for her to marry young and become mistress of her own plantation. But then Clarissa unexpectedly becomes pregnant before she's wed changing the trajectory of both girls' lives. Bodden weaves a page-turning tangled web of misogyny, greed, scandal and violence in this powerful story about races colliding against the backdrop of America's darkest era.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Wedding Gift
Excellent, read it in one day.
Read it in two days, great read.
An excellent book!
A good friend recommended this book and I am so glad that she did! While it was painful to read the horrors of slavery, the story was made interesting by revealing the depth of each character. I couldn't put it down - an easy read - and was shocked by the ending. Lots of twists and turns. Make sure that you read all the way to the last page. Looking forward to more works from this author.