We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Wench Audiobook

Wench: A Novel

Regular Price:$26.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

An ambitious and startling debut novel that follows the lives of four women at a resort popular among slaveholders who bring their enslaved mistresses.

wench \'wench\ n. from Middle English "wenchel," 1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.

Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It's their open secret.

Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory, but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.

To run is to leave behind everything these women value most - friends and families - still down South, and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances, all while they are bearing witness to the end of an era.

An engaging and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery.

©2010 Dolen Perkins-Valdez (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (337 )
5 star
 (136)
4 star
 (108)
3 star
 (66)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.0 (237 )
5 star
 (103)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.3 (234 )
5 star
 (122)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dawn 06-24-16
    Dawn 06-24-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome performance"

    I'd like to hear more from this artist. Her performance of all the characters was incredible. Made me want to continue listening and added interest to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva 06-22-16
    Eva 06-22-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "char star"

    enjoyed listening great book great fascination with this era in time especially when it is around home

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keona 05-31-16
    Keona 05-31-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting"

    So well written and performed that I wish there was a sequel! This addressed so many of our own legacies and personal heritage!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    this game i asome 05-05-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story!"

    l loved the story and can't wait to listen to next book. The narrator did a great job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    strawberry Hotlanta 04-20-16
    strawberry Hotlanta 04-20-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Ok"

    I really like books of this type and i was following pretty good until it ended very flatly. I wanted more resolution of characters.. I guess i will just use my imagination....ohh well

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Snowlady Anchorage, AK 04-10-16
    Snowlady Anchorage, AK 04-10-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The kind of story that stays with you"
    What did you love best about Wench?

    The twists and turns in the story and the character development


    What other book might you compare Wench to and why?

    The Book of Night Women - not as deep, but the relationships between the characters had a similar feel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many scenes that were memorable, but the account of Sweet's reaction to the death of her children was very moving.


    Who was the most memorable character of Wench and why?

    Eliza was the main character; her story was most fully developed, but Mawu was the most memorable character because of her defiance of convention; not only of her position as a slave, but also her unconventional reactions to motherhood, Christianity, friendship - even freedom.


    Any additional comments?

    This story was a slow starter; it was mainly the superb performance of Quincy Tyler Bernstine that kept my attention, until I had developed a feel for the characters. It was well worth sticking with, however; the plot twists were well-timed and rang true. One interesting and perhaps unintended feature of the book was to show how slave owners were trapped by the institution of slavery. While they could dehumanize and brutalize their slaves with impunity, they were prevented from forming ordinary human connections with their slaves, even when they lived closely together. The best feature of this book was to reveal the characters' weaknesses and strengths without categorizing them as either heroes or villains. The complexity of the character's personalities, along with the complexity of the story line, makes this a very satisfying read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Pat 03-03-16
    Dr. Pat 03-03-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "CAPTIVATING and HEARTBREAKING TRUTH about SLAVERY"

    A Beautifully narrated and Artiscally written novel that makes you visualize the events, smells, tastes and emotions of the era. It honestly tells the horrors of slavery and the necessary bonds formed among enslaved women. A rich, rich, rch and Heartbreaking story. ..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-17-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well told story.. the history from the women"

    This was a well told story from the women side of things i loved it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IN BETWEEN THE HEDGES 11-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intelligent Depiction of deformed mindsets"

    Downright sinister if you ask me. Educating just to a point of keeping one in the dark, playing with their emotions just enough to make them tender enough to devour and then pushing them off of a cliff of random despair and then so call rescuing them only to pimp them out for a extra slice of bread now an then. If you like stories about insecure white men who call humans property, pathetic white women who don't wash their own asses and a brainwashed group of Blacks who beat "hope" to a point that it was unrecognizable. Good Read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celeste BELLEVILLE, MI, United States 01-12-15
    Celeste BELLEVILLE, MI, United States 01-12-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Light"

    Due to what I've learned of this time in US history, this story is very "light". The horrors of an enslaved woman in the situation as the main character was kept gentle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.