Review of Charmaine Wikerson’s Black Cake

For those of you who don’t know I work at Target in my spare time and I try my hardest to avoid the Entertainment/ Book section. When I say the struggle is hard, its like sending a kid in a candy store, or getting my kids to agree on one thing. Yeaaah.. that kind of struggle. Okay back to the story. So I’m in the Book section at Target and I see this book, now I’ve walked base it a couple of times, but it hadn’t peaked my interest. (You have to understand my reading addiction goes through phases. One day it maybe Horror, the next its Self-Help who knows). But I finally picked this book up and read the blurb…… now we here.

Now if we go talk about culture this book is it. Not my black culture, but a different black culture. Black Caribbean culture. Reading this book is like being swooped up in a hurricane, one that takes you from an Island in the Caribbean to, college in London, to the sandy beaches of California. Benny and Byron are bother and sisters (Benny is the girl in case you didn’t know). They mother has passed away, and Benny, who has been estranged from her family, and Byron are force to interact to settle their mothers estate.

But first they must hear a story. A stuffy about three friends who lived on an Island and the adventures they endured.

This book was really long, but I really enjoyed it. The main reason I enjoyed it so much is because it kicks out so many stereotypes about black people. I don’t think I’ve every read a book that had black people surfing, yet alone a black teen who surfs and swim as she she was born of the sea. While Benny character I could relate to- she changed jobs, like most people change their sheets- it was Byron who profession stuck out to me. Now I bet you a pack of Now & Laters that you’ve never read a book where the main black protagonist is an Oceanographer who loves to surf.

That’s what I thought…. I want my candy too.

Black Cake explores the dynamics of parent child relationships, immigration, exploring dreams, domestic violence, rape, and family secrets. As I stated before its a long read, but well worth it. Plus it had a little twist hidden all up in there.

Its a 4 out of 5 for me.


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