Benny and Byron are reunited for the first time in years, gathered to listen to their mother’s will. But Eleanor Bennett didn’t just leave behind a black cake in the freezer with a request to share the cake when the time is right. She also left behind a lifetime of secrets that she is finally unraveling for her children. As Eleanor shares the story of Covey Lyncook, Eleanor’s children are drawn into this mysterious woman’s difficult life and discover truths about their family and themselves that have long been buried.
This is a beautiful, poignant story about family, secrets, and starting over. I thought it was wonderfully written, driven by dynamic characters, and incredibly moving.
Every character in this story is well-developed and multifaceted. The story revolves around three main characters. Benny is a young woman struggling to make it in the world and realize her dreams. She’s estranged from her family because of a disagreement she had with her father when she came out as bisexual to the family. Byron, Benny’s brother, is focused on his career and a rising star in the science world, but his personal life leaves much to be desired. And Eleanor Bennett lived a rich, thrilling life filled with secrets and hardships. Beyond these three characters, more people are introduced and their stories weave together in complex and wonderful ways. The story alternates points of view between these characters and every single character gets a rich backstory.
The writing is just superb. It’s lush and engaging, offering beautiful descriptions of the island that Covey grows up on. It‘s got a little bit of family drama, a little bit of historical fiction, and a little bit of a murder mystery. The plotting is complex and travels back and forth through time, but it’s easy to follow the story as the characters weave in and out of each other’s lives.
I loved this one. It’s richly detailed and thoughtful and I cannot wait for it to be turned into a Hulu series! If you’ve read Black Cake, let me know your thoughts!
CW: sexual assault, racism, murder, domestic violence, police brutality