Today I hand the blog over to Mandie who is taking part in the blog blitz for the new release from Sharon Maas, The Girl From The Sugar Plantation. Thanks to Noelle Holten for including us on the tour and to Bookouture for providing a copy of the book for review. We’ll be sharing Mandie’s thoughts on the book, just as soon as we’ve taken a look at what it’s all about.
The Official Book Blurb
An unputdownable story of a woman in search of the truth, the man she falls in love with, and the devastation of the Second World War.
1934, Guyana. All her life, Mary Grace has wanted to know the truth about who her parents really are. As the mixed-race daughter of two white plantation owners, her childhood has been clouded by whispered rumours, and the circumstances of her birth have been kept a closely guarded secret…
Aunt Winnie is the only person Mary Grace can confide in. Feeling lost and lonely, her place in society uncertain, Mary Grace decides to forge her own path in the world. And she finds herself unexpectedly falling for charming and affluent Jock Campbell, a planter with revolutionary ideas.
But, with the onset of the Second World War, their lives will be changed forever. And Mary Grace and Jock will be faced with the hardest decision of all – to fight for freedom or to follow their hearts…
An utterly compelling and evocative story about the heart-breaking choices men and women had to make during a time of unimaginable change. Perfect for fans of The Secret Wife and Island of Secrets.
The Girl from the Sugar Plantation transports you back to a time where the British ruled the plantations in Guyana. You follow the story of Mary Grace who is a mixed race daughter of white plantation owners as she grows up, discovers first love and the history of her family.
Mary Grace is very aware of her standing in life due to the colour of her skin but this does not stop her wanting more. Controlled by a mother who is determined that Mary Grace will “marry up” despite her heritage you witness the struggle for her to break free. Even with the issues that race still throws up today, you do tend to forget that in the 1930’s skin colour played an even greater part in society and how you were accepted.
I absolutely loved Aunt Winnie and her brood. Winnie had married beneath her (or at least that is what society at the time believed) by falling for then marrying a coloured man. Over time she had fought her way back into society by refusing to let others dictate what was acceptable. She also adored Mary Grace and encouraged her to go for her dreams. Family secrets that could have wrecked the bond between them actually made them closer.
For me the story started slowly but despite this I couldn’t put the book down as I became drawn into the lives of the plantation owners and their families. Intertwined with the family saga are the details of the changing social & political landscape of the time. I have a real fascination with history so finding out that a couple of the characters in this book actually existed in real life and quite a bit of what they were involved in was based on facts was a real bonus for me and shows the level of attention to detail that the author went to in order to capture that period in time.
The Girl from the Sugar Plantation is the third book in the Quint Chronicles but I will admit it is the first one I have read. That being said it seemed to work well as a stand-alone story and I had no problems following it, but I do now think that I will have to hunt down the first two books to complete the set just to see what I have missed out on.
The Girl From The Sugar Plantation was released on 19th October and is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, and spent many childhood hours either curled up behind a novel or writing her own adventure stories. Sometimes she had adventures of her own, and found fifteen minutes of Guyanese fame for salvaging an old horse-drawn coach from a funeral parlor, fixing it up, painting it bright blue, and tearing around Georgetown with all her teenage friends. The coach ended up in a ditch, but thankfully neither teens nor horse were injured.
Boarding school in England tamed her somewhat; but after a few years as a reporter with the Guyana Graphic in Georgetown she plunged off to discover South America by the seat of her pants. She ended up in a Colombian jail, and that’s a story for another day…
Sharon has lived in an Ashram in India and as a German Hausfrau–the latter giving her the time and the motivation to finally start writing seriously. Her first novel, Of Marriageable Age, was published by HarperCollins, London, in 1999 and reprinted as a digital edition in 2014. After working as a social worker in a German hospital she finally retired and now has time for her favourite pastimes: reading, writing, and travelling.
Make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the blitz.