We are thrilled to share that Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel, Black Cake, is an instant New York Times bestseller, going straight in at No.2 on the hardback fiction bestseller list.

This is a stellar achievement for Black Cake – described as ‘A richly embroidered family drama’ in The Bookseller and ‘powerful novel’ by VogueBlack Cake was chosen as the Read with Jenna Book Club Pick for February and, after a heated bidding war, between streamers, it was given a straight to series order by Hulu and will be executive produced by Cerar, Harpo Films’ Oprah Winfrey and Carla Gardini and Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan.

Charmaine discusses the nostalgic power of home cooking and how a family recipe inspired her debut novel in a feature for Elle Magazine. There has been a string of praise from press and bestselling authors for Charmaine’s remarkable debut, including the below:

Black Cake is a beautiful, deeply resonant story of children trying to understand the mother they have lost. Charmaine Wilkerson transports you across the decades and the globe accompanied by complex, wonderfully drawn characters. She has managed to tell a story that is as meaningful as it is delicious. At turns delightfully juicy and then stunningly wise, BLACK CAKE is a winner.’

Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising

‘I was instantly taken in by this multi-generational tale of identity, family, and the lifelong push and pull of home. This novel has a tremendous heart at its centre, and I felt its beat on every page. What an extraordinary debut.’

Mary Beth Keane, bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

Wilkerson approaches her plot like a mad chef, grabbing ingredients from all over the world, slicing and dicing with abandon, tossing characters and palm fronds and a few drops of rum into a pot and letting it all come to a simmer…you’re plunged into a roiling soup of family secrets, big lies, great loves, bright colors and strong smells…’

New York Times Book Review

The twists and turns of this story are as rich and tantalizing as the confection for which the book is named, but BLACK CAKE also asks us to consider the legacy of colonialism and the struggle to define our identities on our own terms. Wilkerson’s ideas about what survives, and what gets lost, from one generation to the next linger long after the final page.’

Apple Books Review

‘Wilkerson navigates multiple points of view and time frames while addressing—always with just the right touch—issues of domestic violence, race, sexual identity, colonialism, prejudice and more. Fans of family dramas by Ann Patchett, Brit Bennett and Karen Joy Fowler should take note. Black Cake marks the launch of a writer to watch, one who masterfully plumbs the unexpected depths of the human heart.’

BookPage, starred review


Congratulations, Charmaine! And if you have not yet ordered your copy, you can do so here in the UK, and here in the US.