Friday, July 30, 2010
by Bernice McFadden
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Plume (January 2, 2001)
Here's the blurb:
When Sugar Lacey arrives in Bigelow, Arkansas, to the women of the town it seems as if "a storm blew in...A storm walked into their town on two legs in spiked, red patent leather heels." Afraid for their men and their morals, they want Sugar out of Bigelow. But Sugar, who has traveled too far and survived too much in her short life, has finally found a place in which she could put down roots.
To the surprise of the town, and most of all to Sugar herself, she develops a friendship with Pearl Taylor. Pearl, a respected member of the community, carries with her every day an overwhelming burden grief over her daughter Jude's murder fifteen years before. From its tenuous beginnings, Pearl and Sugar's friendship allows each woman to confront the very thing that most haunts her.
In language that is by turns lyrical and stark, and with a cadence that invokes the rhythm of the storytelling to which she grew up listening, Bernice L. McFadden brings vividly to life a 1950s Southern black town. Sugar, her first novel, is a powerful exploration of the sometimes unrelenting depths of grief and despair, the seeds of hope that can grow in even the bleakest of circumstances, and the role that love and friendship can play in helping us find redemption within ourselves.