A Novel

Perkins-Valdez, Dolen

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
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. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory-but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.

Publisher: New York : Amistad, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061706547
Branch Call Number: FICTION PERKINSVA 2010
Characteristics: 293 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

The reader is brought into the lives of four slaves - Mawu, Reenie, Sweet, and Lizzie- thrown together by chance and circumstances and the ties that bind them to each other and those that keep them always apart. Wench is a heart-breaking and beautiful story of a turbulent time in history, which b... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 19, 2013
  • molmil8 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very good read, although a few violent scenes. Heart-breaking at times, but a compelling story. Liked the occasional Canadian references regarding The Underground Railroad. I love novels that can teach history at the same time.

May 31, 2013
  • finn75 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book made me so angry at the treatment of these women. I wanted to break some bones! Yet it also showed how complicated the relationships could become when children were involved. Heartbreaking especially considering this is based on a real vacation spot for white men and their slaves.

Apr 17, 2013
  • joliebergman rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

One of the most depressing books I've ever read.

May 23, 2012
  • anisoz rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fan-freakin'-tastic. I had no idea.

Jan 05, 2012
  • BookDiva rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A definite must read for those who enjoy southern historical fiction. Enjoyed every page, with a well rounded story and fantastic character development, this book rivals The Help for my favorite read of 2011.

Jul 28, 2011

Somehow, without graphic sex or violence this book still managed to tell a story so disturbing I could not stand to finish it. Though the book is fiction, undoubtedly every word of it was truth for so many.
I WILL pick the story back up at some point, I care enough about the characters to hear their entire story eventually.

This book makes Amistad look like light summer reading.

May 02, 2011
  • m2 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This one was a page - turner. I read the book in 2 days and really wanted to stay up even later and finish in one day. An amazing story constructed out of a short historical notice about a resort in Ohio catering to white southerners and their black female slaves. Devastating details -- and yet the story isn't maudlin or patronizing. Much better than The Help ( to which the cover of the paperback compares it) because it is told from the perspective of the slave women, not an outsider do-gooder.
Good for book clubs, though. Immediately prior to the civil war in history...so good for those who are looking back to the Civil War due to the recent milestone.

May 21, 2010
  • lenore rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book has moments of brilliance but they are mere moments. I found myself lost in spots trying to figure out which character was which. Having said that, it was a good read as well as an interesting one.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at MCL