Sugar Land by Tammy Lynne Stoner

Yes it’s been more than 3 months since I’ve posted about a book, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading some amazing things. I started a new job 2 months ago and for the most part I’ve been focused on that more.

This book is about a woman (Dara) in Texas in the 1920’s who realizes she’s attracted to her female friend and decides to escape the scrutiny that’s sure to follow, by shutting herself off from the world and taking a job at a men’s prison. There she meets Lead Belly, an actual blues singer whom she becomes friends with. His part in the book is pretty small but he plays an integral part. I really do love it when authors add a little historical knowledge into books and use people from real life as characters. Life in the prison is probably what you expect for a woman but she does meet some good people, including the man she ends up marrying, who I really liked.

The way I see it, Huddie reached inside and found his gift and he used it to make is life a lot better than it could have been. And given how strong the winds were pushing back, moving even a few feet is a miracle — any sailor will tell you that.

To be honest I felt 50/50 about the book. Sometimes I thought it was amazing, especially towards the end, but the middle was just ok. I ended up liking most of the secondary characters way more than Dara. Without those other characters revolving around her I think it would have just been a book about a very sad and boring person. There are glimpses of her strength throughout the book which made me want to continue reading to see what would happen to her. Overall I do recommend the book. It definitely has its strong moments, the writing is very good, and the plot is original.

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