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Sunday Scoop

Queen of Sugar

By Natalie Baszile


Hey the holidays are long gone and it is cold with just a little snow here!! I am already looking forward to spring!! Spring is the season of new beginnings. Today’s book is brand new and is the story of one mother and daughter starting over. This is a new release for February 6 of 2014.  Yes, February is just around the corner! Queen of Sugar is the debut novel of Natalie Baszile and is being published by Peguin Group.

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 eight hundred 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 eleven-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 her extended family (description from NetGalley).

I have to say that I enjoyed this novel. This is another book with a strong female character taking the lead. It also contains a lot of character growth and the bonding between family members. I found the characters likeable and I felt the book had a strong story line. I did not find it a slow read as a couple of other reviewers did. I enjoy stories about farming. They give me a nostalgic feeling.  One reader/reviewer felt that the book should have included the use of modern electronics and technology. I disagree. I think that the book might be better placed in the 70s to 80s time span or expound on the poverty issue and lack of cellphones. I think the author could easily resolve this problem. I don’t feel that it detracted from the novel. It is a technicality issue and this is fiction. I feel it gives a sense of the uncomplicated backwater life of the not so wealthy. I feel that it is still a really great book and that Natalie shows great promise as a writer. I think she is one to watch for. This is a great debut book! I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.



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