Friday Morning Bookclub

March 16, 2010

Sugar By Bernice McFadden

Filed under: Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 6:34 pm

Last month Bernice McFadden, the author of Sugar visited our blog. After seeing that we had read The Help, she wanted to know if anyone was interested in reading Sugar, her award winning debut book which is celebating it’s 10 year anniversary. “I am working to place SUGAR into as many hands, hearts and minds as possible and I hope you can help me do this.” I was more than happy to read the book and was thrilled when I recieved my copy in the mail directly from the publisher.

 While both Sugar and The Help both took place in the south, and around the same time period, the stories could not be any more different. The Help took place in the 60’s in Mississippi and was told from the perspective of Miss Skeeter, a young white college graduate, and two black maids Minny and Aibileen. The story focuses on the relationships between the white families and “the help” that raised their children. McFadden’s novel is the story of Sugar Lacey, a black prostitute who arrives in Bigelow, Arkansas wearing a blond wig and bright red lipstick  and Pearl Taylor, her church going  neighbor who has never recovered from the brutal murder of her daughter Jude 15 years prior.  While most of the towns people took one look at Sugar, and how she dressed and wanted nothing to do with her, Pearl reached out to her and a beautful, yet unlikely friendship develops.

 Although parts of the book are disturbing, especially the first chapter which opens with the brutal murder of Pearl’s beautiful daughter Jude, I could not put this book down. What a powerful book!  ” The murder had white man written all over it. (That was only a half truth). But no one would say it above a whisper. It was 1940. It was Bigelow, Arkansas. It was a black child. Need any more be said?”

Check out this review:


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