Serena Ostero was a peculiar child. Certain that she was born in the right time, Serena never quite felt that she fit in with her family or her small village in Latin America. Certain that fate had something special in mind for her, Serena is more than a little disappointed that her fate revolved around a gold-digger named Severo Bracamonte. Severo was not what Serena had in mind for herself – he was ugly and cared only about finding Captain Henry Morgan’s treasure. Over time, however, Severo won her over and they started a rum business. When the couple’s daughter Eva takes over the business, the family fortunes change for good and ill.
Black Sugar, by Miguel Bonnefoy is an astonishing novel about the rise and fall of a family over time. The author transports the reader to Latin America and immerses them in the environment completely. The village is small and has such a languid feeling at the start of the book that it’s almost a surprise when a new character arrives. The characters are well written and complex. Each one has their own secrets and internal worlds that they share with no one – especially those closest to them. The theme of Captain Henry Morgan’s treasure sets a theme for the book that the love of treasure above all else will cause ruination and death. This is a theme that is played out in various degrees over the course of the novel and nicely bookended in the book through Eva’s story. The plot unfolds succinctly with no wasted words or filler. This is a beautiful novel about love and greed. Black Sugar is not to be missed.
Barbara Cothern lives near Portland with her husband and three cats. She is most often found with a book in her hand and several back-ups in her bag. She loves that her day job allows time for reading between projects. She has been passionate about books and a fan of the fantasy genre since her mom read The Chronicles of Narnia to her when she was five. When not reading, Barbara enjoys spending time with her husband, watching movies, going to concerts, cooking, knitting and playing video games. Her favorite part about reviewing books is introducing people to wonderful but less publicized books.
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