Reviews

Library Journal
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A mother and daughter leave Los Angeles behind to take up the 800 acres of Louisiana sugarcane left to them by the former's late father. This debut novel that has been compared to Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees follows the characters' first summer struggling to make the farm work within a racist industry, to mend family trauma, and to find themselves. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Already a widow raising an 11-year-old daughter, Charley Bordelon is further disoriented by the death of her adoring father. He has left her an 800-acre sugarcane field in their native Louisiana, attaching clear restrictions that she must revive the farm or give it to charity, with no option to sell the farm or share it with her estranged half brother, Ralph Angel. So Charley and her reluctant daughter, Micah, relocate from L.A. to rural Louisiana, welcomed into the bosom of the family by her grandmother, Miss Honey. But they walk into old family tensions when Ralph Angel and his 6-year-old son, Blue, come for an extended stay. Charley arrives just in time for the growing season, facing dilapidated fields desperately in need of care. As a citified black woman with no experience in farming, can she make a go of it as a sugarcane farmer in an area that clings to privileges afforded to whites, males, and the wealthy? In alternating chapters, Baszile shows the separate paths that lead Charley and Ralph Angel back home in this exploration of family ties and disconnections.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this tightly written first novel, an urbanite from Los Angeles, Charley Bordelon, moves with her 11-year-old daughter to her father's old hometown in rural Louisiana to farm sugar cane on 800 acres of land left to her in his will. A black woman who had been struggling financially as a teacher, Charley is alternately frightened and exhilarated by the prospect of competing in an industry dominated by white Southern men. With a bare minimum of money to start with, she is often overwhelmed by the work required to make the neglected farmland profitable. Charley also suffers guilt over her estranged brother, who received nothing, and worries over the example she is setting for her unhappy, uprooted daughter. VERDICT The author blends the ups and downs of Charley's emotional life with the uneven rhythms of farming over the course of a year to keep the plot moving and readers invested. This family drama featuring a woman facing adversity head-on and finding inner strength should resonate with fans of Ayana Mathis's The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. [See Prepub Alert, 8/5/13.].-Laurie -Cavanaugh, Holmes P.L., -Halifax, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.