My Little Pocketbooks: Review: Sugar   
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Sugar

Genre: Contemporary
Publisher:  Plume
Release Date: January 2, 2001
Paperback: 240 pages

Source: Purchased at EsoWon Bookstore
Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Description
From an exciting new voice in African-American contemporary fiction comes a novel Ebony praised for its "unforgettable images, unique characters, and moving story that keeps the pages turning until the end." The Chicago Defender calls Sugar "a literary explosion...McFadden reveals amazing talent." The novel opens when a young prostitute comes to Bigelow, Arkansas, to start over, far from her haunting past. Sugar moves next door to Pearl, who is still grieving for the daughter who was murdered fifteen years before. Over sweet-potato pie, an unlikely friendship begins, transforming both women's lives--and the life of an entire town.
Sugar brings a Southern African-American town vividly to life, with its flowering magnolia trees, lingering scents of jasmine and honeysuckle, and white picket fences that keep strangers out--but ignorance and superstition in. To read this novel is to take a journey through loss and suffering to a place of forgiveness, understanding, and grace. McFadden is the author of the novels Gathering of Waters, Glorious, and This Bitter Earth.
  I had a hard time getting into this book in the beginning.  I think I will blame it all on reader's burn out.  All 100% of it.  Because once I got into the book I jammed right though it.  The story takes place in the Spring of 1940 small town Bigelow, Arkansas and opens with the gruesome murder of a 15 year old girl.  I always have a hard time with gruesome and good writing.  There are so many great writers out there telling some detailed violent, image burning stories that make you cringe as you read them.  Is that good writing?  I have no idea.  Is the page turning to see what happens next similar to the neck turning on a freeway when you see an accident?  
Back to the story.  It's not all violent.  The overall story is great and makes you question yourself if you have ever judged a person without knowing them.  The good Christian ladies of Bigelow didn't even exchange one word with the "Whore" Sugar but they know for a fact that her presence in their town is not good.  For them or their husbands.  
Bernice McFadden wrote a great story giving voice to the many faces of Black women.  She made them real and solid characters.  Each woman unique and believable.  
The story ended just the way I like a good read to end.  There was just enough to want more but most of the ends were neatly wrapped up.  But, personally a little revenge would have been icing on the cake.  There were a few situations that were missing revenge and people not speaking their piece.  But that is just me.  I really...
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I recommend this book to adults due to the sexual content.
This book is number 7 in my Women Reading Challenge
This book is number 9 in my Good Reads Challenge
 Mocha Girls Read Book of the Month

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