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The wedding gift - Marlen Suyapa Bodden

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The wedding gift
Marlen Suyapa Bodden
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

What if, on her wedding day, you were given to your sister - as your slave?

When wealthy plantation owner Cornelius Allen marries off his daughter Clarissa, he presents her with a wedding gift: a young slave woman called Sarah.

The two girls have grown up together but their lives could not have been more different. Clarissa is white and is used to a life of privilege and ease. Sarah is black and is used to a life of slavery and hard work.

Forbidden by law to leave the plantation, Sarah longs to be free - in mind and in body.

But when she decides her future lies away from Clarissa, she sets in motion a series of events that will have devastating consequences for them both.

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Marlen Bodden is a lawyer in New York City. She has more than two decades' experience representing poor people and low-wage and immigrant workers, many of whom are severely underpaid, if paid at all. She drew on her knowledge of modern and historical slavery, human trafficking, and human rights abuses to write The Wedding Gift, her first novel. Marlen is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Tufts University.

Visit her website at: for the history behind The Wedding Gift in photographs, illustrations, maps, and a bibliography.

"Bodden's absorbing page-turner maintains its suspense right up to the final pages, when there's one last surprise for those hoping for a happy ending."
Sunday Express

"A powerful and engaging tale of slavery, passion and the quest for freedom."

"Stunning debut...Bodden weaves a page-turning tangled web of misogyny, greed, scandal and violence in this powerful story about races colliding against the backdrop of America's darkest era."
Publisher's Weekly starred review

"As educational as it is compelling...Bodden writes with delicacy...An inspiring read for historical fiction fans, especially those who like strong female narrators."

"Sure to become 2013's sleeper hit..."
Ebony Magazine

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Southern States - Social conditions - Fiction.
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