Queen Sugar is the debut novel from Natalie Baszile and what a great beginning to what I hope will be many more novels from this author. I loved the trip to the South and into the world of sugarcane farming which I’ve always found fascinating. Even more than that this is a heartwarming story of family, of struggling to better yourself, and of moving on and discovering just what you’re made of. I listened to the audiobook of Queen Sugar which is narrated by Miriam Hyman and she does a fantastic job. This looks to be the only audiobook I could find narrated by her and I hope she’ll do more because she truly has a talent with voices and telling stories.
Charley Bordelon is an African American widow, who along with her young daughter Micah, travel to Louisiana after Charley learns that she has inherited eight hundred acres of sugar land from her father. This comes as a huge surprise to Charley and to top it off she hasn’t got the first clue about anything to do with sugarcane farming. Even more her daughter isn’t happy with the move from modern Los Angeles to the country where computers and cell phones are not seen as a normal everyday thing. As time goes though Micah finds interests in gardening and in learning to cook from Miss Honey who is one of the best cooks around. Charley however struggles with trying to keep the sugar farm afloat and get the crop in. If she doesn’t she and Micah are in a world of trouble because Charley has bet everything she has on making this new journey in their lives a success.
To make things worse for Charley her half brother Ralph Angel shows up with his young son and he’s a piece of work. He is a bitter man who feels as though Charley has had it easy her whole life and why did their father give her the farm when it should have belonged to him. Needless to say he causes more problems for Charley and really for everyone and it’s a safe bet that I didn’t like him much. And then there is a man who sets his sights on Charley but her heart is firmly closed and she finds any excuse to keep it that way. Will she succeed on the farm, will Micah adjust, and will Charley eventually open her heart and life to more than just work and her daughter…
Queen Sugar is a wonderful story full of memorable characters that I won’t soon forget. The audio comes in at almost fourteen hours and I hardly noticed as I was enjoying it so much. The story is great and the audio really brought alive the sights, sounds, and life out on a Southern sugarcane farm. Highly recommended – I loved it!
Scenes from Queen Sugar