For an intriguing, eye-opening look at the cruelties and complexities of slave-era relationships between slave mistresses and their masters (and among the slave mistresses themselves), take a trip via Dolen Perkins-Valdez’ novel Wench (HarperCollins, 2010) to an Ohio resort that catered to these peculiar couples. Over three summers, four slave women meet during their “vacations” with their masters, share the challenges of their lives, their men, their children and the tension caused by their knowledge that while in Ohio they are in a free state but still the chattel of their masters. Moving stories, lyrically written.



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