QUEEN SUGAR

QUEEN SUGAR

A NOVEL

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An intimate story of mother-daughter reinvention, endurance, and hope amid the complexities of the contemporary South. When Charley Bordelon, an African American single mother, unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land. She and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to the smog and sprawl of Los Angeles and head to the tropical expanse of Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart. 'An irresistible tale of family, community . . . and personal reinvention . . . Smart and heartfelt and highly recommended.' Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author W e Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 'Heartfelt . . . A nuanced evocation of contemporary black life.' San Francisco Chronicle ' Queen Sugar delivers complex characters and a hint of bayou magic . . . A captivating first novel.' Minneapolis Star Tribune
ISBN: 9780143126232
Branch Call Number: PB FICTION BAS

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Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

"She knew what The Cane Cutter represented . . .It symbolized generations of struggle and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds. Yes, it told her family'a story but it could have just as well have told the story of any other family-black, white, brown, yellow, or whatever-whose forefathers (and mothers) had stayed the course."

This quote from Queen Sugar describes the statute that Charley Bordelon's late father passed down to her. But it might as well describe the book itself. Queen Sugar-which tells the story of a Black woman's who struggles to make a sugarcane farm she inherits from her father prosper-is a tale with a universal theme to it. Anyone who's ever tried to make a fresh start in life or to achieve and impossible goal will be able to relate to Charley's story (as well as the story of her brother Ralph Angel, who's on the run from the law).

And yet, Queen Sugar is not a "color-blind" book. Charley and Ralph Angel deal with stereotyping, discrimination, and police brutality-issues that many in the African American community face. Also, the rich Black culture of New Orleans permeates the pages.

In short, I would recommend Queen Sugar to anyone who is looking for a special book. A book that is at once universal and local, beautiful and heart-wrenching. A book that makes New Orleans and a family's struggles come alive.

k
kehuben
Apr 15, 2017

I have mixed feelings about Queen Sugar. Overall I enjoyed the book and was especially taken with Baszile's descriptions of sugar cane farming and the Louisiana setting. I also loved the way she brought out the importance of extended family - they may fight and squabble amongst themselves but can always be counted on to have your back.

At times, however, I think she skimmed over some big issues - issues with how Charley relates to her daughter and brother and general issues on race.

I'd read another book by this author.

m
mariaarcorace
Oct 05, 2016

TV Show on Oprah's channel inspired by this book. Author will be at KCLS Burien Branch on July 22, 2017.

j
jjeanmichel
Oct 04, 2016

I enjoyed reading the book and it was a page turner for me. When I found out it was going to be a series on TV, I decided to read it. I love book to screen adaptations. I like to see how closely or different it is from the book. I enjoyed the characters and their development. I enjoy reading a good book!

PimaLib_MaryG Jun 05, 2016

I really enjoyed this book. I fell in love with Charley and Mr. Denton and was frustrated by the brother's refusal to do anything for himself. A great read.

MsRJHaynes Sep 15, 2015

Her strength to keep going when all odds were against her..Excellent read

l
lostintheshelves
Jul 10, 2015

This first novel, soon to be adapted into a television show by Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, has a compelling story about Charley, a black woman trying to make her was a sugar cane farmer in rural Louisiana today. I loved the vivid descriptions of Charley's difficulty, the landscape, and the fascinating realities of modern farming. But the book is dragged down by the weaker narrative of her half-brother, Ralph Angel, an ex-con adept at sabotaging his own life. I enjoyed reading it, but hated the end of Ralph Angel's story so much it tainted my view of the entire book.

LPL_KateG Feb 08, 2015

I really enjoyed this novel and feel that Charley Bordelon's narratives in particular really transported the reader to rural Louisiana. I typically love books with multiple narrators, but feel that the other main character (Ralph Angel) wasn't quite as strongly written. Overall, however, I would recommend this novel for anyone who likes southern and rural narratives. It was important and eye-opening to read a novel about farming from the perspective of a young black woman in the South.

Edited: OWN is turning this into an original drama series!

g
genepy
Sep 22, 2014

A very inconsistent and uneven book as far as the writing and the characters ; it seems like two authors are taking turn to write a few pages each. The reader encounters some beautiful prose :

"How could there be so many shades of green ? Cane fields the bright green of a new pippin apple, while the grass was almost jade, the woods the deep green of raw spinach, and the reflection of the sunlit trees along the bayou a vibrant chartreuse."

followed by common, ill-structured sentences.
The personality and behavior of the protagonists are also "wonky " and odd.

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Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

Other: A character has heavy drug use.

Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: A woman's death from a drug overdose is described in a flashback.

Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

Sexual Content: A sexual encounter between a consenting man and woman (occurring outside of marriage) is described in non-graphic detail. A teenager's sexual abuse is described in graphic detail.

Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

Violence: A Black man is shot a killed by a police officer. The scene is described from the victim's point of view. Sexual abuse of a teenager is graphically described. A man threatens his family with a gun.

Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

Coarse Language: The "f" word is used several times..

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Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

Windowgirl thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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Windowgirl Nov 07, 2017

"How could there be so many shades of green ? Cane fields the bright green of a new pippin apple, while the grass was almost jade, the woods the deep green of raw spinach, and the reflection of the sunlit trees along the bayou a vibrant chartreuse."

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