Queen Sugar: A Novel

Queen Sugar: A Novel

Posted by jack_miller | Published 6 months ago

With 1194 ratings

By: Natalie Baszile, Miriam Hyman, et al.

Purchased At: $16.00

A mother-daughter story of reinvention - about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana.

Why exactly Charley Bordelon's late father left her 800 sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her 11-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles.

They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that's mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.

Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction - from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and intimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.

Despite its name, there is little sweetness--in the sense of treacle--in this thoughtful look at what happens when a thoroughly 21st century woman--a Californian, no less--returns to her family roots in Louisiana to take over a sugar plantation bequeathed to her by her father. Queen Sugar transported me into a world I didn't want to leave. With an undercurrent of white-supremacist danger burbling under the surface, the book offers both dark tension and warm-hearted (sweet?) relief, both family and societal conflict that is at once eternal and contemporary. I want a sequel.

- leroy_robinson

I enjoyed the book because it shoved just like the cane sugar, our lives are just as venerable and unpredictable, as well as fragile. It tells of how once we have worked so hard to reach set goals (after overcoming so many setbacks and obstacles) , there is always something to slow us down. It also shows that sometimes we just have to stay in the race and endure until the end and we'll get our prize.

- mira_reed

Natalie's book is just phenomena especially for a first-time author. I watched the entire season 1 and really liked it. But the way it is presented on tv is quite different from the book. I found myself trying to find how each character in the book was reflective of those on the screen. However, there were a lot of differences so I had to give up trying to find similarities and just concentrate on the book as a separate entity. It depicted sugar cane farming as the central theme whereas the screen version dealt more with the interaction of the characters.Once I separated the two I found that I actually enjoyed the book more. The one distinct similarity between Own's version and the book was that Charlie was a tough as nails woman who was fearless and not prone to quitting on whatever she set out to do. I do wonder if season 2 will deal more with the exceedingly difficult endeavor of growing hardy healthy sugar cane. I was fascinated by the many steps in the process as I know little about farming or southern life, for that matter. I hope that many readers will choose to read this book as it is very interesting and enlightening. I was sorry it ended too soon.

- hayley_lopez

I wanted to read the book before watching the television show and I'm so happy that I did! The story is a familiar Southern farm tale with a twist. I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the landscape and visualized myself in the setting. As a Native Texan who happens to be black I could relate to the race relations of the south and I appreciate that Charley came with a different mindset and succeeded in spite of the fact that she was the only black female farmer in town.

- stephen_peterson

It is a known fact that a book will be different than a movie. For obvious reasons. Time constraints etc. However I struggled in the beginning with the rearrangement of the characters, the omitting of some and the I introduction of others. All in all it worked itself out beautifully. I was pleased with the progress of Charley. Her perseverance in spite of adversary and to allow herself to be loved in process. Everyone should have an aunt Vi! Many have made decision they thought would benefit someone. But playing God has never benefitted anyone. Miss Honey learned that painful lesson. It seems Ralph Angel was destined for his future. His mother may have played a role in his misfortunes. Having recently taken a trip to New Orleans I felt included in their lives. Definitely a story we can relate to.

- anaya_gonzales

I wanted to read this book because I heard that the TV show was amazing (I still have yet to play catchup and the new season is about to start). This book did take me longer to read but that was not because I didn’t enjoy it. Quite the contrary.

This book here ya’ll gave me all the feels- I laughed, got angry, cried and did it all over again. The characters remind me of my family even though the story is based in the south. All families have those relatives that you don’t want to be bothered with and love from afar. If you don’t, there is an elder that will quote scripture on you and condemn you if you don’t show them love (lol- I know that one first hand). You also have those cousins that even though you don’t see or talk to them every day, you can pick up where you left off and feel like you never missed a beat.

I found Charlie’s story to be very inspiring. It’s one of strengthen and determination. Just when you think all the odds (being a widow, single mother of a teenager and the ONLY black female sugarcane farmer in a white male dominated industry) are against you, she still pushed through. Even with the help of others, she embraced the bumps along the way and found her footing all because she wanted to honor the legacy of her father. After all, this was not her destiny. She even manages to find love along the way. CAN WE SAY WINNING and #BLACKGIRLMAGIC.

I am no critic, but for this to be Natalie Baszille’s first novel, she did a phenomenal job and I look forward to more from her. I would even like to see a possible part 2 to this book as she left me wanting more.

*** Also, to my readers out there, I have been told not to compare the book to the TV series as there are slight difference in characters or even versions of the story. In my opinion, the novels are always better.***

- luke_robinson

It's been a while since I read something that sucked me in so deeply and so completely. All my senses were satisfied yet still I craved more. The author transported me to Louisiana and into St Josephine. Charly and Ralph Angel siblings separated by intervention, privilege, time, and distance. Both with their vices they try to hold on to what they have left; which isn't much to the naked eye.
I loved this whole story, even though it is much different from the show; this version being the best.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants depth of character, love, family, and trip to hot sticky sweet Louisiana.

- bjorn_evans

Loved it

- blake_roberts

I really found it exciting to read this book. it moved along well with interesting characters. while on vacation I couldn't wait to get back to the story. the author made life in the sugar cane industry come alive and was very educational about life in the south. I can hardly wait for her next book.

- kate_howard

Great novel good price

- emerson_ramos

Great story good charcters

- kaitlyn_hall

Book club book

- danielle_gomez

njoyed this book a lot

- sawyer_patel

great condition

- kelvin_walker

loved it, great character development, plot

- millie_diaz

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