Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
“After school I used to go on these walks,” Miranda said. “We lived in this subdivision, one of those with the houses with fake shutters glued up beside all of the windows and they were always building new homes. But down at the end of my road everything turned to fields, just big, blank, muddy fields. And I used to walk. I’d go to the dead end and find a leaf or grass. I’d hold it up and let the wind take it, and whatever direction it blew, that’s where I’d go. I knew if I kept walking long enough, eventually, I would feel it. Something would click and I’d fit.”
The despair felt by the characters in Sugar Run leaps out from the pages and it is an unflinching, honest, look at a young woman has been released back in to the world after spending almost two decades behind bars. When Jodi gets out of prison she has no job skills, no family to welcome her home, and no prospects for employment given that she is a convicted felon. She wants desperately to make a better life for herself but how? Maren explores themes of addiction, domestic violence, and the ugliness and hate that is experienced by so many of the LGBTQ community living in small towns in the South. Her writing is raw and haunting and Jodi has continued to stay with me even though I finished this book several days ago.
Many thanks to Algonquin for sending an early copy to me in exchange for my honest review.