Jenna Bush Hager has selected Charmaine Wilkerson’s black cake as the latest choice for her Today book club show.
Hager made the Announcement Tuesday on the morning show, saying, “It’s a mystery, but it’s also about love. I love it. It spans decades, but also countries.”
Wilkerson’s debut novel, published Tuesday by Ballantine, tells the story of two siblings whose mother dies, leaving behind a traditional Caribbean fruitcake and a voice recording of unexpected revelations about her life. A reviewer for Kirkus wrote, “There’s plenty to enjoy in this ambitious and successful debut.”
in a interview of Book pageWilkerson recently said she has her mother’s recipe for black cake but chose not to include it in the novel because she didn’t want the book to be seen as food-oriented.
“It’s about the idea that there’s the story you tell about your life, about your family history, about your culture,” she said. “And then there are the stories that are not told, or hidden or not fully revealed. The cake symbolizes the history of this family, in which the children, who are now adults, really don’t know what their parents went through.”
“There is something almost mysterious about [the novel]Hager said. “I was on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know what was going to happen and who these characters were.”
Wilkerson responded to the selection of her book on Instagram, to write“Really excited that Today Show’s Jenna Bush Hager has chosen BLACK CAKE as the @readwithjenna pick for February. Thanks for reading Black Cake, Jenna!”
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and a regular contributor to NPR.