The Wedding Gift

From the Publisher:

In 1852, when prestigious Alabama plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa's hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah -- her slave and her half-sister. Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not the proper Southern belle she appears to be, with ambitions of loving whom she chooses. Sarah equally hides behind the facade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible. Told through the alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius' wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden's The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait of slavery and the 19th Century South that will leave readers breathless.

Watch Sonny Hostin talk about The Wedding Gift
on her summer reading list.


"Fascinating, intriguing - a great story!"
-- Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House

"Stunning debut - page-turning - powerful story."
-- Publishers Weekly starred review

"A potent debut."
-- Good Housekeeping

"An inspiring read for historical-fiction fans."
-- Booklist

"Passionate...a good choice for readers who like a fast-paced historical story."
-- Library Journal

"Gripping innuendo, mystery, surprise, shrewd insight and murder ..."
-- Ebony Magazine

"Powerful and absorbing."
-- 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

Reading Group Guide

Reading group discussion questions.