Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart
A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

One of the many pleasures of “Sugar in the Blood” is its author’s evocation of everyday life on the plantation.
-NY Times

Synopsis

In the late 1630s, lured by the promise of the New World, Andrea Stuart’s earliest known maternal ancestor, George Ashby, set sail from England to settle in Barbados. He fell into the life of a sugar plantation owner by mere chance, but by the time he harvested his first crop, a revolution was fully under way: the farming of sugar cane, and the swiftly increasing demands for sugar worldwide, would not only lift George Ashby from abject poverty and shape the lives of his descendants, but it would also bind together ambitious white entrepreneurs and enslaved black workers in a strangling embrace. Stuart uses her own family story—from the seventeenth century through the present—as the pivot for this epic tale of migration, settlement, survival, slavery and the making of the Americas.

As it grew, the sugar trade enriched Europe as never before, financing the Industrial Revolution and fuelling the Enlightenment. And, as well, it became the basis of many economies in South America, played an important part in the evolution of the United States as a world power and transformed the Caribbean into an archipelago of riches. But this sweet and hugely profitable trade—“white gold,” as it was known—had profoundly less palatable consequences in its precipitation of the enslavement of Africans to work the fields on the islands and, ultimately, throughout the American continents. Interspersing the tectonic shifts of colonial history with her family’s experience, Stuart explores the interconnected themes of settlement, sugar and slavery with extraordinary subtlety and sensitivity. In examining how these forces shaped her own family—its genealogy, intimate relationships, circumstances of birth, varying hues of skin—she illuminates how her family, among millions of others like it, in turn transformed the society in which they lived, and how that interchange continues to this day. Shifting between personal and global history, Stuart gives us a deepened understanding of the connections between continents, between black and white, between men and women, between the free and the enslaved. It is a story brought to life with riveting and unparalleled immediacy, a story of fundamental importance to the making of our world.
 

About Andrea Stuart

See more books from this Author
Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and French at the Sorbonne. Her book The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon's Josephine has been translated into three languages and won the Enid McLeod Literary Prize. Andrea's work has been published in numerous anthologies, newspapers, and magazines, and she regularly reviews books for The Independent. She has also worked as a TV producer. Lisa Renee Pitts is an award-winning actress in theater, television, and film, as well as an accomplished audiobook narrator. She has been seen Off-Broadway, in Europe, and in regional theaters across the United States, performing leading roles in such prominent plays as A Raisin in the Sun, Doubt, Waiting forLefty, Valley Song, and Our Town. Her television appearances include The Shield and Law and Order, and she played the recurring role of Allison Sawyer on the hit family drama Lincoln Heights for the ABC Family Channel. Lisa's audiobook titlesinclude biographies, fiction, nonfiction and children's novels, including Pushkin and the Queen of Spades by Alice Randall, for which she won an AudioFile Earphones Award for excellence in narration. Other notable titles are Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza, Better Than I Know Myself by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, and My Name Is Not Angelica by Scott O'Dell. Lisa is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she received her B.F.A. in Theater Arts. She lives in Burbank, California.
 
Published January 22, 2013 by Vintage. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Business & Economics, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Sugar in the Blood
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Amy Wilentz on Mar 29 2013

One of the many pleasures of “Sugar in the Blood” is its author’s evocation of everyday life on the plantation.

Read Full Review of Sugar in the Blood: A Family'... | See more reviews from NY Times

Reader Rating for Sugar in the Blood
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 122 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×