Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Women
I enjoy historical fiction but have a restricted range, preferring British Tudor and Medieval settings or, as in this case, the antebellum Southern States.

The Wedding Gift is set in Alabama and the focus is on two women who come from very different social classes but who share a common bond of powerlessness when faced with domineering men. Sarah is a...
Published 14 months ago by Lovely Treez

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enslavement
The Wedding Gift is Marlen Suyapa Bodden's debut novel.

Alabama. The Allen Plantation. 1840's. Sarah is born to her slave mother Emmeline. Three months later the plantation owner's wife gives birth to her daughter Clarissa. They have the same father. The two girls grow up on the same land, but live very different lives.

What I quite enjoyed was the...
Published 9 months ago by Luanne Ollivier


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enslavement, 9 Oct 2013
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Hardcover)
The Wedding Gift is Marlen Suyapa Bodden's debut novel.

Alabama. The Allen Plantation. 1840's. Sarah is born to her slave mother Emmeline. Three months later the plantation owner's wife gives birth to her daughter Clarissa. They have the same father. The two girls grow up on the same land, but live very different lives.

What I quite enjoyed was the two viewpoints Bodden used to tell her story - that of the slave Sarah and that of Theodora, the owner's wife. It was an interesting and thought provoking look at enslavement - from two perspectives. While Sarah is property according to the law, is Theodora any different? Her husband treats her badly, but society, obligations and other ties prohibit her escape. Neither woman is in control of their life.

Bodden has done her research - many historical facts are woven into her narrative. At times though, I felt like getting that information across overshadowed the story at the cost of character development. I did not find myself as drawn to Sarah as I thought I would. Instead it was her mother Emmeline who was my favourite.

But I did find myself caught up in Sarah and Theodora's stories. Would Sarah run? Or stay with Clarissa? Would Clarissa marry for love or to add to her father's wealth? There are many supporting characters whose stories I found myself wanting more - especially the midwife Miss Mary.

However, I was disappointed with the ending - it was abrupt, jarring and just didn't fit for this reader. While it was an admirable twist, I just didn't feel like it belonged with the story I'd just immersed myself in. The second reveal at the end was telegraphed long before it was finally spelled out. I found it somewhat annoying that Bodden held this back - I found myself backtracking and rereading to see if I had missed something.

I also admit to being spoiled - two of my favourite books are slave narratives - Allende's Island Beneath the Sea and Hill's Book of Negroes. It was hard not to compare Bodden's work with these two stellar novels. For a first novel, I think Bodden did a good job and will continue to grow as a writer. Her passion for her chosen subject did shine through - she is a human rights lawyer and a descendant of slaves herself)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Kindle Edition)
I was really looking forward to this book after reading about it in Stylist magazine. Although it tells a good tale for about 80% of it, the ending was unsatisfying, and actually bizarrely done, now that I think about it. Almost as if the author wanted to throw in an 11th hour twist to shock the reader, but it just came across as disconnected.
However, my biggest issue is the lack of emotion throughout. Some parts that could have been really emotive were described blandly through dialogue, which made it really hard to connect to the characters and empathise with them.
This is storytelling, not writing. It probably would've been nicely told orally, but I am actually angry that I wasted my money on this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Women, 31 May 2013
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Hardcover)
I enjoy historical fiction but have a restricted range, preferring British Tudor and Medieval settings or, as in this case, the antebellum Southern States.

The Wedding Gift is set in Alabama and the focus is on two women who come from very different social classes but who share a common bond of powerlessness when faced with domineering men. Sarah is a half-white slave, the off-spring of Emmeline, a house slave, and the boorish plantation owner. Theodora is the plantation owner's long suffering wife, the target of his alcohol fuelled mood swings and she is expected to toe the line at all times. Both women are victims of slavery yet they strive to escape their bondage - Sarah with her plans to escape and Theodora with little acts of rebellion such as teaching Sarah to read and write even though it is considered illegal.

Yes, there is a lot of dialogue and it can seem, at times, a little forced but you're carried along by the compelling storyline. This is an impressive debut and one for fans of Kathleen Grissom's The Kitchen House and Gone With the Wind.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this, 11 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Kindle Edition)
o I just loved being taken back to a time of slavery.this story has different narratives.could not put it down.lots of twists.would love to see this on the big screen
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous story, 4 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Kindle Edition)
Un-put-downable, the account of a young slave girl who tries to run away from her life on the Plantation and how she manages, against the odds, to outwit everyone
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 30 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Kindle Edition)
I could not put the this down. Read it everyday. Brilliant story and history. I was hoping for a better ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 16 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Kindle Edition)
I bought this based on a magazine review and I'm really glad I did. It was so good that I finished it in only a few days. The author deals with the complex topic of slavery in America by exploring it from not only a slave's perspective but also some of the slave owners.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-down-able!, 7 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Hardcover)
One of the best books I have read. Could not put it down, no housework done and late for work! When you start to read this, be prepared to get nothing else done! Excellent. Cannot wait for her next one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 23 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Kindle Edition)
Good read with an unexpected ending. I would definitely recommend this book as a good read, a bit different too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story, skillfully written. Can i have more please?, 2 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wedding Gift (Hardcover)
This has to be one of the best books that I have ever read, the story weaves intricatly with so much skill & it left me feeling that i never wanted to put it down, but never wanting it to end. The ending is so unexpectedly brilliant. Will the writer have more to tempt us with.Amazing!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Wedding Gift
The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden (Hardcover - 9 May 2013)
9.09
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews