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Wench Audiobook

Wench: A Novel

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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 (360 )
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4.3 (257 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bunny Bee the Ethereal Houston Texas 09-16-16
    Bunny Bee the Ethereal Houston Texas 09-16-16

    Ruthless the Lady Dragon!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "I love this story...These people Mawu & Leza !"

    Ancestral relavance,friendship,love and joy. Wilberforce! now I have a greater connection to this university and the AME church.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Russell 09-01-16 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    7
    1
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    Story
    "Good story"

    The story was entertaining. The voice of characters was not done good. it took away from the characters, it was distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tenna 07-04-16
    Tenna 07-04-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    11
    1
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    Story
    "Hard to listen, but couldn't put it down."

    The book made me very angry so many emotions! Women, black and white were mistreated throughout the storyline. Good read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CATREESE 06-27-16
    CATREESE 06-27-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    19
    19
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    "THERE HAS TO BE A SEQUEL"
    If you could sum up Wench in three words, what would they be?

    ENTERTAINING SORROWFUL ENLIGHTENING


    What did you like best about this story?

    THIS STORY WAS MEATY. FULL OF HILLS AND VALLEYS


    Have you listened to any of Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I can't recall if I have.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The story pulled me in and didn't let go until the end.


    Any additional comments?

    It has to be a book 2. What happened to Mawu? What happened to Lizzie? I didn't want the book to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn 06-24-16
    Dawn 06-24-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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    5
    3
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    "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
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    12
    1
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    "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
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    1
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    "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
    5
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    13
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    0
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    "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
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    5
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    "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

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