The Wedding Gift

Marlen Suyapa Bodden; Read by Jenna Lamia and January LaVoy

Macmillan Audio

Download Image Marlen Suyapa Bodden; Read by Jenna Lamia and January LaVoy The Wedding Gift

Available Formats

BookAudio BookeBook
When Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, he presents her with a wedding gift: the young slave she grew up with, Sarah.  Sarah is also Allen’s daughter and Clarissa’s sister, a product of his longtime relationship with his house slave, Emmeline.  When Clarissa’s husband suspects that their newborn son is illegitimate, Clarissa and Sarah are sent back to her parents, Cornelius and Theodora, in shame, setting in motion a series of events that will destroy this once powerful family.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius’ wife, The Wedding Gift is a stunning novel that shows where the complicated and compelling bonds and relationships between women explored in novels like The Help and The Secret Life of Bees began.  Marlen Suyapa Bodden's novel is an intimate portrait that shows where this particular American story and dynamic all started and will leave listeners breathless.
 
Includes a reading group guide read by the author

Connect with the Author

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

ONE
 

SARAH CAMPBELL

This chronicle commences with the monarchs of my heart: my mother, the woman who gave me light, and my sister, to whom I clung in dire times. Both were beautiful, with delicate features and dark skin. I, however, am big-boned and, as the Alabama newspapers described me, yellowish. Except for her yellow hair and blue eyes, I look more like my other sister, to whom I was given when she married, Clarissa Allen, the daughter of the master of the plantation and his wife, Theodora. Like Clarissa, and the man who fathered us, I am tall, have dimples, a pointy

Read the full excerpt

Back

Reviews

Praise for The Wedding Gift

“If I were you, I wouldn’t make any plans for the rest of the day.  You have in your hands a story of the tangled motives and self-destructive passions when whites and blacks became this close during the time of slavery—all told at a pell mell pace.”—Tom Wolfe, New York Times bestselling and Award-winning author of Back to Blood

 

“Bodden wraps some of the most complex issues facing the world today, slavery, racism, misogyny, and violence in an unflinching tall tale about an American family that is black and white. This compelling and fierce historical novel, where the slave master gives his white daughter his black daughter as a wedding gift, is set in the big house of a wealthy plantation before the Civil War and is based on a court case from the 1840s in Talladega, Alabama.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

 

“Fascinating, intriguing—a great story!” —Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House

 

“The WEDDING GIFT is powerful and absorbing.  Ms. Bodden’s story-telling skills are on fine display in this intricately-plotted novel as she unflinchingly transports the reader to the most tragic, brutal time in the country’s past.  The characters are exceptionally well-rendered; the sense of who they are lingers beyond the last page.  The author astutely captures the complexities of the relationships--especially between the enslaved black women and the oppressed white women.  Also masterfully captured here is the boundless quest to live fully free.” —Diane McKinney-Whetstone, author of Tumbling

 

"The strength of the novel is its slave narrative tone and its ability to demonstrate the pain of being owned by  another human being. Many have heard of slavery; few know this story. It's too important to overlook." 

—Daniel Black, author of Twelve Gates to the City

 


Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

Marlen Suyapa Bodden; Read by Jenna Lamia and January LaVoy

MARLEN SUYAPA BODDEN is a lawyer at The Legal Aid Society in New York City, the nation’s oldest and largest law firm for the poor. She drew on her knowledge of modern and historical slavery, human trafficking, and human rights abuses to write The Wedding Gift, her first novel. Marlen is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Tufts University. In 2012, the University of Rhode Island awarded Marlen an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Marlen Suyapa Bodden
Jenna Lamia
January LaVoy

Back

Reading Guide

Organizing a Reading Group

1

Get the Guide

Download PDF
2

Tell Your Friends

Share
3

Find More Books

Go to Website
4

Stay Updated

Sign Up
Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The Wedding Gift
Marlen Suyapa Bodden; Read by Jenna Lamia and January LaVoy

Unabridged Compact Disc

Unabridged  Compact Disc
Macmillan Audio
September 2013
Unabridged Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781427232977
ISBN10: 1427232970
Audio Run Time: 11:00
$39.99

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
September 2013
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427232984
ISBN10: 1427232989
Audio Run Time: 10:30
$23.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
September 2013
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250026385
ISBN10: 1250026385
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$25.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
September 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250026125
ISBN10: 1250026121
320 pages
$12.99
Back

From The Publisher

Macmillan Audio

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter

Back