Review Sugar Money by Jane Harris – Set in 1765 on the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Martinique, Sugar Money opens as two enslaved brothers – Emile and Lucien – are sent on an impossible mission forced upon them by their masters, a band of mendicant French monks.
The monks run hospitals in the islands and fund their ventures through farming cane sugar and distilling rum. Seven years earlier – after a series of scandals – they were ousted from Grenada by the French authorities, and had to leave their slaves behind. Despite the fact that Grenada is now under British rule, and effectively enemy territory, the monks devise an absurdly ambitious plan: they send Emile and Lucien to the island to convince the monks’ former slaves to flee British brutality and escape with them.
Based on a historical rebellion, award-winning writer Jane Harris peoples her daring novel with unforgettable characters. Recounted by Lucien, the younger brother, this story of courage, disaster, and love, is a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit under the crush of unspeakable cruelty.
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION and THE WILBUR SMITH ADVENTURE WRITING PRIZE***
Review Sugar Money by Jane Harris – First I have to thank Jane Harris as the author of “Sugar Money”, also thanks to Skyhorse Publishing and NetGalley for sharing the soft copy.
From the first page I met a sad story, about inhumane behavior towards slaves in the islands of Grenada and Martinique. I finally found out about those horrible stories. There is also a sheet with a little French and English without structure. I think that’s what happened at that time. The slaves always face punishment even though the mistake is small. What really makes my heart broken.
The main characters in this story are two brothers, Emile and Lucien. They became slaves and the writer succeeded in telling the plot very strongly. Even though this is a heartbreaking story but actually it has been written very well. This story will be easily impregnated so that several times my eyes also tear.
Emile (28 years) and Lucien (12 years) become slaves in Martinique, which is an area located in the Western Antilles. At that time they were both ordered by monks to go to Granada by sea, these two slave brothers had a special plan to free the slaves who were made prisoners by the British and bring them back to Martinique. Why? Because at that time Martinique was a warehouse that produced sugar. That is the title “Sugar Money”. But this story does sound easier than having to do it yourself.
Then what happens next is surprising. They have different goals. When they arrived in Granada, when they were hiding, they secretly connected slaves with their own homes. This is a very dangerous escape. Time becomes their life. This goal becomes heavier to achieve from the actual mission. These slaves have a choice, just live or die.
I am really proud of Jane Harris’s efforts. For the sake of this story, she went to Granada to do a brief but deep research. Of course with the results of her research, finally, the story of Sugar Money is so fascinating. A very strong narrative and a character that is so strong, even though it is always under threat.
Challenging, terrible, real and very honest.