Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review: Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Amistad (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006170654X
ISBN-13: 978-0061706547
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It's their open secret.

Review: This is a fabulous debut novel and although it's a work of fiction, some of the places
mentioned were real. I can only imagine the amount of research that went into this book but my
hats off to Dolen for making it such an awesome read while mixing in the history and southern

The story mainly revolves around Lizzie and her friends and the ordeals they go thru as slaves.
Dolen weaves their life onto the page in a way so that you can almost hear there talks and feel
as a shadow on their bedroom wall when their masters come in the middle of the night sometimes
impregnating them and later selling off their offspring or worse.

I'm not sure if this book will be the first of a series or a stand alone but I would totally enjoy
reading what happens to Lizzie's children. Ya'll this was another one of those books that I got in
the mail peeked at read a page or two and we ended up having sandwiches for supper because I didn't
wanna quit reading til the end! Yes! It's that awesome!

Review Copy Provided by Author.

About The Author

Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s fiction and essays The Kenyon Review, African American Review, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, North Carolina Literary Review, Richard Wright Newsletter, and SLI: Studies in Literary Imagination. She is a 2009 finalist for the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Award. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Dolen splits her time between Seattle and Washington, DC. She is a faculty member of the University of Puget Sound where she teaches Creative Writing. Wench is her first book of fiction. You can visit Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s website at, her blog at or connect with her on Twitter at


Sharon said...

It sounds as if you really enjoyed this book! I'm off to visit the authors website, thanks!

April said...

Great review! I thought this sounded like such a good book too. I hope to be able to read it sometime.