Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

I just finished this book today and had to share it with you right away.  This novel is soooo good!  The writing is so rich with characters and description that you feel as though you are present, watching the story unfold before you.  Stop what you are doing and sit down to read this first novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, you will treasure every moment, turning the page.

wench \'wench\ n. from Middle English “wenchel,” 1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.
Situated in Ohio, a free territory before the Civil War, Tawawa House is an idyllic retreat for Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their enslaved black mistresses. It’s their open secret. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at the resort, building strong friendships over the years. But when Mawu, as fearless as she is assured, comes along and starts talking of running away, things change. To run is to leave everything behind, 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 bear witness to the end of an era.
An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery.

"It was mainly this, his careful voicing of loving things that kept her in this place."
"You don't got to get beat every now and them to remember how to make it through something."
"Envy and hate are two different things."
"Don't give in to the white man.  And if you have to give in, don't giave your soul over to him."
"Love yourself first."
"Hold fast to your women friends because they are going to be there when ain't nobody else there."
"If you don't believe in God, its all right.  God believes in you."
"Don't be afraid to say how you feel."
"Learn a craft so you always have something to barter other than your private parts."


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