AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

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Sugarland Story Summary (no spoilers!)

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message 1: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Sugarland is historical fiction, but it's also a mystery ...

The story takes place in 1920s Chicago. When talented young musician Eve Riser witnesses the accidental killing of a bootlegger, she must go to Chicago to deliver money to the bootlegger's boss. That night she is caught in a drive-by shooting, the money is stolen, and her sister Chickie goes missing. To find the money and her sister, Eve joins forces with the nurse who saved her. Together these two women navigate the back alleys and jazz clubs of the Roaring Twenties, encountering charismatic managers, handsome musicians, and a mysterious gangster called the Walnut who seems to be the key to it all.

Sugarland was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016. From May 5th through May 9th you can download a free kindle edition from Amazon.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I love the world of fiction during the 1920's.


message 3: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Malandrinos Sounds interesting. Haven't really read anything in the 1920s.


message 4: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Sounds interesting. Haven't really read anything in the 1920s."

I haven't read much, either. I sometimes wonder if this is "The Great Gatsby" syndrome — do publishers think that with that one book, it had all been said??!

Anyone want to recommend some other good fiction set in the Roaring Twenties?


message 5: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Bloom wrote: "I love the world of fiction during the 1920's."

Do you have any favorites?


message 6: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Burnett (cindyhillburnett) | 1 comments I loved Sugarland! I read it when it first came out. Great book.


message 7: by Alice (last edited May 03, 2018 09:03PM) (new)

Alice | 11 comments One of my earliest love affairs with fiction stemmed from reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, especially This Side of Paradise. It was published in 1920, when he was 23, and many scenes were set in New Haven, where I lived at the time. Something about reading a novel set in my very own city, but long before I was born, opened me up to the power of fiction. This experience and my fascination with Fitzgerald – his writing, his struggles, his success, and his failure – were all part of my wanting to become a writer too.


message 8: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Cindy wrote: "I loved Sugarland! I read it when it first came out. Great book."
Thanks, Cindy—so glad you enjoyed it!


message 9: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Alice wrote: "One of my earliest love affairs with fiction stemmed from reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, especially This Side of Paradise. It was published in 1920, when he was 23, and many scenes were set in New Ha..."

This is fascinating. All too few novels have been set in Cleveland, where I'm from, so I haven't had this experience, but I can totally see it. I'm afraid I don't remember This Side of Paradise very well, though I read it when I was a teenager. For me, reading Jane Eyre made me want to write fiction. Probably other novels, too.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Persia Walker comes to mind for writing wonderfully about the Twenties. She is a Mystery Author. I could name others, but my mind is blank at the moment. Of course, "The Great Gatsby" and others written by Mr. Fitzgerald.

Sorry I can not read "Sugarland" with you at this time.


message 11: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Bloom wrote: "Persia Walker comes to mind for writing wonderfully about the Twenties. She is a Mystery Author. I could name others, but my mind is blank at the moment. Of course, "The Great Gatsby" and others wr..."
I'll check Persia Walker out, thanks!

Just to clarify—in this group we don't necessarily read the books together like some other book clubs; rather it's a place where readers can find new authors, and authors can talk about their books (all American Historical Fiction)—what inspired them to write, what their writing process is like, insights into their characters, etc. You can enjoy the week's posts (one author per week) even if you haven't read the book—at least, that's our hope! Of course, we also hope you'll be inspired to read many of these authors, too.

Hope that helps!


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