When wealthy plantation owner Cornelius Allen marries off his daughter Clarissa, he presents her with a wedding gift: a young slave woman called Sarah. It just so happens that Sarah is Allen’s daughter as well, the product of a long-term sexual relationship with his slave Emmeline. When Clarissa’s husband rejects her newborn son as illegitimate and sends Clarissa and Sarah back to the Allens, their return sets in motion a series of events that will destroy the once-powerful family. Told through the alternating view points of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius’s wife, The Wedding Gift shines a glaring light on the brutal world of slavery in the antebellum American South. Marlen Suyapa Bodden’s compelling historical novel explores how planters controlled slaves and free women alike, propelling them along a taut social tightrope as they struggled for freedom and autonomy in an oppressive and patriarchal world. The controversial and shocking ending is sure to leave readers aghast.
The Wedding Gift
Marlen Suyapa Bodden