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Black Cake  By  cover art

Black Cake

By: Charmaine Wilkerson
Narrated by: Lynnette R. Freeman, Simone Mcintyre
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Publisher's summary

NOW A HULU STREAMING SERIES • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY • Two estranged siblings delve into their mother’s hidden past—and how it all connects to her traditional Caribbean black cake—in this immersive family saga, “a character-driven, multigenerational story that’s meant to be savored” (Time).

“Wilkerson transports you across the decades and around the globe accompanied by complex, wonderfully drawn characters.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & The Six, and Malibu Rising

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Oprah Daily, NPR, BuzzFeed, Glamour, PopSugar, Book Riot, She Reads

We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?

In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.

©2022 Charmaine Wilkerson (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

Black Cake is a character-driven, multigenerational story that’s meant to be savored. . . . Thought-provoking and poignant.”Time

“A thrilling debut novel about sibling ties and hidden family history.”Glamour

“As delicious as the titular dessert.”W Magazine

Featured Article: 7 Gripping Family Dramas to Feed Your Succession Obsession


Our favorite family baddies, the Roys, serve up a lot of drama filled with sibling rivalry, business takeovers, and toxic family love. If you're on the edge of your seat, dying to know what happens next but also dreading the completion of the series—then you’re probably not doing so well. We won't be able to fill the Roy-shaped hole in your heart, but we can recommend some podcasts and audiobooks that will remind you of Succession's best moments.