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Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar - Natalie Baszile This novel didn't really work for me as a whole. The description of sugar cane and sugar cane farming are great -- this woman clearly did her research, and I enjoyed that.

But the setup is odd and the characters are hard to believe. There is something seriously, dangerously wrong with the daughter Micah -- she needs some help that she never gets. And of course the half-brother Ralph Angel is just a monstrous screw-up in every way, to the extent that it felt like once she had created him, the author didn't know what to do with him. The happy ending seemed very forced and not really justified. And the grandmother. Seems like her stubbornness was more a plot tool than a human characteristic. There were other moments with other characters that just made me shake my head, "what?!" Too many of those moments.

So there were some things that worked well, but the characters and plot just didn't jive for me. It almost felt like it just wasn't really done, as a novel. A good idea but not quite all the way there.

But I stuck it out and read the whole thing because the sugar cane/Louisiana part of it really did work.