Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sugar (Sugar Lacey, #1)” as Want to Read:
Sugar (Sugar Lacey, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sugar (Sugar Lacey #1)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  3,409 ratings  ·  251 reviews
"Strong and folksy storytelling...think Zora Neale Hurston...Sugar speaks of what is real." --The Dallas Morning NewsFrom an exciting new voice in African-American contemporary fiction comes a novel Ebony praised for its "unforgettable images, unique characters, and moving story that keeps the pages turning until the end." The Chicago Defender calls Sugar "a literary explo ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 2nd 2001 by Plume (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I just finished reading this book for the second time after ten years. So much respect is due to Bernice Mcfadden. She's a wonderful writer and storyteller. Her style is amazing. Her excellency in character analysis is outstanding. It was impossible not to fall in love with the characters or at least have an understanding of how or why they are the way that they are. I couldn't get over the language of the narration. So beautifully written. I definitely can't wait to read the sequel. This is a b ...more
Shonell Bacon
If you haven't read this, then SHAME ON YOU...for real.
Suzanne (Chick with Books) Yester
I didn't know what to expect from Sugar as I read the opening scene of a horrendous murder of a young black girl named Jude and the devastated mother she left behind named Pearl. The year was 1940, the place was a southern black town, and it was the era of segregation...

"No one cared except the people who carried the same skin color"

Bernice McFadden made me feel the anguish of a mother who lost her child; the injustice of the times as it was known nothing was going to be done about it... And the
More Sugar, Please

Okay, so I’ve heard about this book, heard about this book and heard about this book. Haven’t run into a single person who read it and didn’t love it. But this is me we’re talking about so that doesn’t mean anything to me. I had read a previous title by Bernice McFadden and it didn’t do anything for me. I tried her alter ego, Geneva Holiday, and wasn’t moved. It wasn’t until a dear friend who is also a bookseller actually put the book in my hand and told me to take it and read
Pearl has had her heart ripped out after the murder of her daughter; Sugar has had her life ripped apart by choices made for her by others. Neither knows, until Sugar moves next door to Pearl, what life has in store for them both.

In my quest to find the alternative to “The Help” I’m trying to immerse myself in African-American authors, who’s points of view lend more authenticity and credibility to the stories of African-American characters. I hit gold with Bernice L. McFadden’s, Sugar.

Set in the
Alretha Thomas
I finished reading Bernice L. McFadden’s Sugar this morning at the gym. I have to confess that I did happen to see a review that mentioned something about the ending not being a very happy one, so I braced myself as I approached the last chapter. Happy ending or no happy ending, Sugar was as sweet a read as the title…bittersweet in places, but sweet just the same. I not only fell in love with Bernice’s writing style, but I also found a deep place in my heart for the two main women in the novel— ...more
Totally Spellbinding

"Sugar" was one of the best novels I've read in a long time! I applaud the talents of the writer because as a debut novel, she was able to capture the attention of the reader and maintain it throughout. I remember thinking that this was going to be a slow read, however, I found myself enjoying the fact that she didn't reveal too much, too soon. I enjoyed the characters in "Sugar". This book will have you feeling a range of emotions from beginning to end, it was an incredible
McFadden's style reminds me a lot of J. California Cooper, who IMHO is THE BEST African-American author I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
I was half-way through "Sugar" before I found out there was a sequel to the story, "This Bitter Earth". I promptly ordered the sequel and look forward to adding the rest of McFadden's titles to my library.
The characters were so real - it seemed as if they were people I actually grew up around...or with. The story drew you in from the beginning and held y
Loved it! My second book by this author. Can't wait to read part 2. Sugar was abandoned by her mother at a young age and never knew her father. During her formative years, she saw and heard a lot of things that were a bit much for a youngster. She grew up not really feeling loved. At the age of 15 she left town in search of becoming a star and a woman. See Sugar through her journey in life. Not all people are bad or want something from you.
Love, love, love this author. Bernice McFadden is a master weaver, pulling together beautiful threads to tell a stunning tale of loss, grief and love.
McFadden kept my attention through and through. On to the sequel....
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
I had read the first page of this book, soon as it arrived at my doorstep. Right then I was hooked, and had to resist from reading further. Bernice McFadden's writing is so beautiful, that I just lost myself in it. The very first page was stunning both in its prose and in it's sharp narration.

My opinion
In the Spring of 1940, a little girl, Jude, is found dead in Bigelow, Arkansas, in the most brutal manner possible. Her death sends the whole community into shock and devastates her parents, Pearl
I finished reading this book today and I know that its a book that will be a "go-to" book that I will re-read in my collection. I was drawn in from the character development in this book. The way that you see the growth spiritually and mentally from the two main characters in this book is really touching. I found myself connected to Sugar and Pearl (2 main characters) within the first couple chapters. The way that Bernice McFadden writes is nothing less than spectacular; I was drawn to the diale ...more
i'm having a hard time putting a number on this book. so haunting, so many pages so brutal and hard to read. but how can i not give five stars to a book whose characters will linger, whose picture of a particular moment in time and place in our history is so clear, beautiful, and true. tragic, in so many ways, but also so full of hope and beauty.
Shanika Carter
This was my first Bernice L. McFadden book and I absolutely loved it! I felt like I could picture every scene, even taking in the feel and smell of certain scenarios as she described. This book had me laughing aloud in some parts, as well as cursing and feeling empathetic in others. After that ending, I definitely have to read the second book in this series!
Patricia Howell
Such a great story. I was reading it the same time that I was reading Sula and there were some subtle similarities. Southern women, excellent familiar dialogue, but this one w/o the magical realism that Toni Morrison is known for. This was just a great story. Not a single sentence seemed wasted. Loved it!
This book moved me in ways I can't explain. Filled with raw emotions of hurt, anger,change and loving ones self as well as a mysterious stranger.
Winter  Sophia Rose
Intriguing, Engrossing, Moving & Powerful! A Masterpiece! I Loved It!
Good introduction to sugar crimes
Sugar Lacey has taken a few hard knocks in life. Hoping to turn her life around, she moves down South next door to a couple who are nursing their own tragedies.

Pearl has been leveled by unspeakable horrors. She isn't the person she used to be and has settled on existing rather than living. When Sugar moves in next door, Pearl is immediately reminded of what she has lost and takes Sugar under her wing, striking up and unlikely friendship. They are brought together by pain and loss, each needing
I saw all of the fantastic reviews for this book but like to read and judge for myself. The reviews did not lie. I can not even begin to put my thoughts into words about this novel. I was immediately sucked into this story not just because of the character depth and vivid surroundings but also because I could feel the emotions.

Bernice L. McFadden lays out a story so straightforward that it's hard to look away even during the times that you really want to. At points I cried like a baby and at ot
What an amazing story! I have owned this book since 2001, but due to my busy schedule while I was in college I was never able to read this book. Last week I found it on my book shelf, discovered that I had a signed copy by the author, and decided to finally read it. I was definately not disappointed. This is a well written novel that tells the story of a woman who walks into the town of Bigelow, forever changing the lives of the citizens. This novel takes the reader on a journey through a life o ...more
When Sugar Lacey comes to the small town of Bigelow in Arkansas, life is shaken up. Women eye her with disdain, men eye her with lust. This is the basis of the novel Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden. Sugar begins with a bang, immediately we are drawn in with a murder of a little girl. Emotion is ripe and we see how the murder takes a toll on Pearl Taylor, the mother of the victim. The book then flashes forward fifteen years, when the lives of Sugar Lacey and Pearl Taylor will intertwine over sweet p ...more
Radom library pick for the win!! Couldn't put it down. McFadden hooked me on the characters from page one and they are still lurking in my mind as I'm replaying their lives in my mind! Looking up the sequel soon!
The story of Sugar makes you feel. I really can't describe the emotions I went through, except for wanting to hug everyone I know and love...and kicking a**es of everyone who ever did something wrong to me or my family.

This is a MUST READ. Bernice L. McFadden has a true gift of getting you emotionally involved in her stories. I'm still trying to figure out why this isn't on film.
Loved this story. It was a sad,heartbreaking, funny, frustrating, hurtful, tear jerker of a story. I'm patiently waiting for This Bitter Earth to come in the mail.
Bernice McFadden is an amazing storyteller. My plan is to read everything she has written.
Excellent job Ms. McFadden.
Without question, SUGAR is my absolute favorite novel of all time! Rich, textural, inviting, shocking. It is vivid, descriptive, imaginative, sad yet somehow triumphant.
I feel like I am with Sugar every step of her long journey. Loved these characters! The ending is powerful....
From my blog...[return]Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden is a shining example of how literary fiction should be written; with warmth, depth, vivid imagery, and beautiful prose. Sugar is a novel about two women; one born in brothels and looking for a new life, the other an ideal wife and upstanding community member grieving the loss of her son. When Sugar moves in next door to Pearl their lives are destined to become intertwined and McFadden weaves their lives together so delicately and lovingly, it i ...more
Who is Sugar? She's the new woman in town - and she clearly does NOT belong, what with her flashy wig and skin-tight clothes, with wickedness written all over her. The women of Bigelow, Arkansas, in 1955, decide from the start that she is not THEIR kind - and truthfully, she's not. She's a whore, plain and simple - and has a hard time seeing herself as anything else.

Torn-up from the inside out, Sugar is lost inside a well of anguish and hard-luck and arriving in a new town, full of people as bla
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The end 3 25 May 24, 2015 02:12PM  
African-American ...: September BB: Sugar 46 23 Oct 04, 2014 08:45AM  
Mocha Girls Read: Book of the Month: Sugar 15 110 Mar 07, 2013 03:23PM  
  • The Darkest Child
  • Fifth Born
  • In Search of Satisfaction
  • Perfect Peace
  • Tumbling
  • Orange Mint and Honey
  • Child of God
  • I Wish I Had a Red Dress (Idlewild #2)
  • 32 Candles
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
  • Your Blues Ain't Like Mine
  • My Soul to Keep (African Immortals, #1)
  • Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made
  • Leaving Atlanta

I am a national bestselling, award winning Brooklyn born and bred author who writes to breathe life back into memory.

Peace & Light,

Bernice L. McFadden

More about Bernice L. McFadden...

Other Books in the Series

Sugar Lacey (2 books)
  • This Bitter Earth (Sugar Lacey, #2)
This Bitter Earth (Sugar Lacey, #2) The Warmest December Gathering of Waters Nowhere Is a Place Glorious

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“ 'Sugar, aint you ever had no good time?' she said with a bit of sadness in her voice.
'What you mean?' Sugar said,...
'Seems to me that I ain't never see you look up from whatever you were doing and just smile.'
'Just smile? Smile at what? At who?'
'Smile into the air, girl!' she said and waved her arm through the better start, 'cause time is running and a life without good times ain't a life worth having.”
“But grief let loose from a woman who lost a child—that was the worst type of grief of all.” 1 likes
More quotes…