Evelina | AvalinahsBooks's Reviews > Sugar Money

Sugar Money by Jane  Harris
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At first I was reluctant to request Sugar Money because I'm a weakling at handling slavery stories sometimes. I turn into a puddle of sobs. But, despite being quite detailed about the hardships of slave life in 1765, it was a very engaging read. It doesn't have a very happy ending, as you might surmise, but it tells a story worth hearing, told very soberly and matter-of-factly. You can also read this review on my blog.

The Story Is Very Soberly Told

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Despite being a slavery story, it doesn't contain a lot of drama. Pain, suffering and despair are usually the things that destroy me in slavery stories - but in this book, it's all told so soberly. In the end, it makes sense that even though life is pretty damn horrifying, those people would not be alive if they didn't learn to live with it - the human spirit doesn't fare well, unless it adjusts. A person can't keep reacting to horror dramatically. I felt like it made the story extra believable - it being told like that. The story is also told through Lucien's point of view, and he is a young teen when the events take place. I feel like telling it that way really works well for a male character's point of view as well.

The Actual 'Happening' Part Is Very Tense

I was listening to this book on text to speech, and actually, as I was going, I had to pretty much max out the speed - so I could just find out what happens. The story really does keep you on edge, when things start rolling! At times, it was even a little bit much. But definitely in an enjoyable way - I could just not put it down.

Not Dramatic, But Definitely Emotional

Despite not containing a lot of drama, like I said earlier, there's still emotion. The author has walked a whole 'nother mile, creating backstories to Sugar Money. The stories of why the slaves are where they are. Of why the main characters have these memories, these feelings. Of who they grew up with, who they fell in love with, and... lost. All of these paint a really engrossing image of the community and life for these people. It will also tug at your heartstrings for sure. I really loved the backstory of Emile and Celeste. It also gave me all the #FEELS.

It's Kind Of Between Fiction And Nonfiction
If you're a nonfiction fan, I think you would really enjoy this story. It's definitely still fiction - but it's based on true events and it doesn't feel like the story strays too far from them. You can truly feel the research the author has done, and all the settings are painted in good detail. The sober tone that I've mentioned before really does give it a feel of reading a history book, but not a dry one at all. It's also an important topic to talk about, so I feel like the author has picked an amazing setting and historical event to write this based on. In the end, the point it makes is that even if a slave trusts their owner, it's just an owner - and they will sell them out. Owning a slave and treating them well is not a merit - in the end, it's still just owning a slave. And owning another person is not something a human being should do.

But Beware Of The Triggers

Well, obviously - it's a slavery book. Expect rape, murder, torture, bodily harm and all that. I don't feel like I need to go in more detail. It's not told dramatically, but it's told in detail >(although no rape happpens, it's just talked about as an event that took part in the past.)

I thank Arcade Publishing for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. Receiving the book for free does not affect my opinion.

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Reading Progress

February 21, 2018 – Started Reading
February 21, 2018 – Shelved
February 21, 2018 –
February 25, 2018 –
30.0% "For a tough topic, it doesn't lack humor at all. Reads very well."
February 27, 2018 –
48.0% "The book tells of sad things, but in such a matter of fact fashion that it seems very realistic, just the way the field hands might have talked, felt and lived then. Not every tragedy is dramatic all the time - the saddest things are sometimes just a part of someone's mundane life. People wouldn't survived in constant despair - to survive, they had to deal with it, and just learn to live in such harsh circumstances."
March 10, 2018 – Finished Reading
March 15, 2018 –
100.0% "I know I'm batch-updating my statuses, but I finished this too the other day xD"
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs-or-review-copies
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: books-of-2018
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: hardship
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: historical
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: human-relationships
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: netgalley
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: other-cultures
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: segregation-slavery
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: poverty
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: society

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