• Leina Ussin

“Books, they let you travel without moving your feet!”

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I am screaming FINALLY!

Can you believe it literally took me seven months to read this book? I am so mad at myself, LOL. Like my wife is even mad at me! She says she never wants to see this book again after today! LOL.

One question she asked me, was, “Why is it taking you so long? Is the book boring?”

And this was a very good question. Let me start off by saying I had no idea this book was a TV series, which is funny, because a lot of people who watch the series, didn’t know there was a book!

I couldn’t tell you how many times I was stopped by someone who saw me reading and asked, “Is this Queen Sugar the same Queen Sugar that’s on TV?” and my naïve behind couldn’t respond because I have not seen not one episode. I can say though, after reading this, I would like to see how close the series is to the book!

Now, the book was originally given to me by my older sister since I was snooping around her house looking for something to read. This was about a year ago and some change ago, and I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to finally get to it.

But I am glad I did.

For all of my Louisiana folks, in case you’re clueless and never heard of Queen Sugar, the series or the novel, this book takes place in St Josephine Parish. I personally have never been, but based upon the words of Natalie Baszile, I think I should take a little trip.

The novel starts off with us meeting Charley Bordelon, and her preteen daughter, Micah. Charley is a widow living in Los Angeles, whose father passed away and left her a sugar cane farm. From the beginning, Natalie makes it clear as day that Charley is out of her league here, and for the majority of the chapters, it’s like she never gets a break. She’s not taken seriously as a farmer, since she has no experience, she’s a woman, and to top it off, she’s a black.

Oh yes, there is definitely some tip toeing of racism going on this book!

With the risk of losing her farm staring her in the face, Charley must also deal with a daughter who is constantly pushing her limits every chance she gets! There were moments in this book I couldn’t help but think, ‘If you don’t punch this little girl in her face!” LOL

But that’s me! And that’s probably why I was blessed with a son!

Anyway, Ralph Angel is another main character in this book, and just so happens to be Charley’s estranged brother. Ralph Angel has had a harsh life, and continuously makes bad decisions as the story plays out. And he’s not shy about playing the victim at all! There are moments you find yourself wanting to like him, to truly understand him. And then he puts his foot in his mouth and stays consist with being the bad guy!

Before writing this review, I did look up other reviews/comments about this book, to kind of get a feel of what other people thought, and came across a comment of a women saying the book was too detailed. And though I cannot disagree with this statement, I can say I appreciate it.

There’s a scene in Chapter 9, page 118, where Charley finds herself tasting dirt. And before you wonder why, just know you’ll have to figure that one out on your own, LOL.

But Natalie describes Charley’s experience like this:

“She sniffed: wood smoke, grass, damp like a sidewalk after it rained. She tasted” grit, fine as ground glass, chocolate, and what? Maybe ash? She closed her eyes as soil dissolved over her tongue, and slowly, slowly, almost like a good wine, te soil began to tell its story.”

Now, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I’ve never tasted dirt before, LOL. Not as an adult anyway! And even though I’m sure no one is eager to give it try, Natalie definitely captured this moment Charley experienced remarkably! I could smell what she was smelling, taste what she was tasting, and understood this experience with her!

There were plenty of trials and tribulations this character went through, and you literally felt yourself aching with her through it all!

So yes, Natalie may have been overlydetailed, but unless you can describe the taste of dirt, or explain Louisiana weather to someone’s who’s never been, detail is something you can truly appreciate.

So, overall, I would definitely give this book a 5/5.

Though it took me forever to read, it definitely was captivating. I think the time Natalie spent researching for this book, and being able to make certain things as relatable as possible was worth the wait of getting to the end. And boy, was it an interesting ending!

But of course, I’m not telling what happened! You’ll legit have to figure it out for yourself!

But you won’t be disappointed if you do!

There are so many significant moments this novel take you through; family issues and reunions, giving it your all and still failing, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and most importantly, just trying to get through life the best you can!

Well, I hope this entry was helpful, and if you’ve read the book, let me know what your view of it was! If you’re watching the show, let me know what you think about it, I am definitely interested in your thoughts!

As always, keep those suggestions coming guys! I have my book already for the month of August, and if you missed out on the voting process, it’s Eric Jerome Dickey’s book Genevieve.

I’m officially starting today so feel free to read with me, or drop me a line telling me if you thought the book was good or not!

Also, check out my IG to check out my video of one of my favorite scenes of this book!

Talk to you guys soon!!!!!

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