Just finished reading WENCH, a novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. Excellent book.
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 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.
“A heartbreaker, full of understated tragedy and lyrical prose….Perkins-Valdez has woven a devastatingly beautiful account of a cruel past.” — People
“Readers entranced by THE HELP will be equally riveted by WENCH. A deeply moving, beautifully written novel told from the heart.” — USA Today
Available in Paperback. 290 pages. Published in 2011 by Amistad…