Stacey Peters's Reviews > The House at Sugar Beach

The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
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's review
Apr 23, 2010

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bookshelves: black-experience

I have always been interested in the Liberian "experiment" and how it started. This book gives an interesting historical background of the founders. After that, I was really disappointed with the memoir aspect of this novel. The author gives a very detailed perspective on her life and her people, less on the indigenous natives of Liberia or "townies". Something was missing, a sort of compassion for the people who could not/ or would not leave. It was written so matter of factly. As a youth, she didn't care for the House on Sugar Beach, until she was forced to leave that priviledged lifestyle. Chapter after chapter of self promotion, her expensive ACS education and trips to Spain was a bit much. Then she gallantly writes about her mediocre writing because she felt she deserved the plumb assignments. Can you say Self indulged? That whole Iraq chapter really got under my skin. Other than the fact that did escape with her family, her memoir was nothing to write home about.
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Jeffrey Taylor I think your comments were right on point. She writes a sort of chronology of some events but she does seem to be missing from the action, an empty shell of an observer.

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