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Queen Sugar: A Novel | [Natalie Baszile]

Queen Sugar: A Novel

Why exactly Charley Bordelon's late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her 11-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that's mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man's business.
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Publisher's Summary

A mother-daughter story of reinvention - about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana.

Why exactly Charley Bordelon's late father left her 800 sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her 11-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles.

They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that's mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.

Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction - from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and intimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.

©2014 Natalie Baszile; ©2014 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (84 )
5 star
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4.4 (75 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Henry Petaluma, CA, United States 02-23-14
    Henry Petaluma, CA, United States 02-23-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    583
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    Story
    "Guy book too"
    What made the experience of listening to Queen Sugar the most enjoyable?

    I work in agriculture and found the portrayal of farming and farmers accurate and sympathetic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters and story were compelling and plausible.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rio Delta Wild Harlingen, TX 08-16-14
    Rio Delta Wild Harlingen, TX 08-16-14 Member Since 2004

    I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
    ratings
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    95
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    13
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    Story
    "Growing sugar cane in the recent South."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The characters, the struggles, the small victories, the reality of race and farming and being human are expertly woven into this intriguing tale.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The old man who becomes the advisor/salvation of the main character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending scene was very gratifying.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sugarcane farmin' in the South ain't like livin' in California!


    Any additional comments?

    Am anxious to hear anything more which this author creates!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie 05-14-15
    Valerie 05-14-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
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    "Stick with it…"

    Overall, I enjoyed the book. I did, however, found the author's style overly descriptive. The continual use of adjectives slowed the story and, at times, made it feel tedious. It took me a while to settle into it because I almost stopped listening, however I am glad that I finished the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josephine Alexander 05-08-15
    ratings
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    1
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    "Outstanding read!"

    Rich in details about sugar cane farming. I loved the complexity of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 04-30-15
    Beth 04-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Love this book!!!"

    Pure poetry!!! With vivid description, Baszile takes the reader on a journey into south Louisiana. With the daunting task of farming her inherited sugar cane farm, Charley faces a myriad of obstacles and finds love along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tmccauley 03-03-15
    tmccauley 03-03-15
    ratings
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    "Loved this book!!!! Loved everything about it."

    This is a great book. Love reading about South Louisiana and the sugar fields. Charlie and her family have a wonderful life. They have had a lot of struggles but have came through it all. I can't wait for the series that will be on Oprah ' s net work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela H Charlotte, NC 02-16-15
    Angela H Charlotte, NC 02-16-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    Story
    "Excellent storytelling"

    Compelling plot. Exquisite imagery and details. Memorable characters. A setting you can see, taste, touch, hear and feel. Sorry the story had to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gaye Welch-Brown 01-27-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    Story
    "Sweet Love Story"

    An absolutely beautiful story of the Deep South, agriculture, race relations, family relationship, economics, and a woman breaking the "glass ceiling", moreover she's a black woman - The Queen! This story is inspirational to anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur or be embraced in a love-for-life story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Timberlake Houston 01-04-15
    Claire Timberlake Houston 01-04-15 Member Since 2006

    Bailandoluz

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    "Kept me entertained."

    I cared about and was interested in all the characters. That rarely happens for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Milam 03-17-14
    R. Milam 03-17-14 Member Since 2013

    Lifelong reader, with a strong preference for long, complex historicals and multi-book sagas (I've read, in their entirety, The Wheel of Time, all the currently available Diana Gabaldon, Naomi Novick, and Margaret George books, and love to draw comparisons from historic events to modern events.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good until it fell apart"
    If you could sum up Queen Sugar in three words, what would they be?

    Tense, hopeful, interesting


    Would you be willing to try another book from Natalie Baszile? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. The story was good until it... fell apart at the end.


    Which character – as performed by Miriam Hyman – was your favorite?

    Charlie. She was so full of life and fascinating!


    Any additional comments?

    The book was great, really... tense, exciting, full of details about a part of the world I'm familiar with but not intimate. However, the ending felt really rushed - like the author decided she'd reached the end of her page requirement and then she had to just stop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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