Tammy Lynn Stoner’s Sugar Land is the story of nineteen-year-old Dara, a girl living in Midland, Texas, in 1923. One day Dara is working at the local egg store, and in walks Rhodie, a girl in a tangerine skirt and jacket while holding a bow with no arrows. Dara is immediately intrigued and becomes infatuated as she begins talking with Rhodie, who is going to the University of Texas in January. Over the course of a few weeks, the girls fall in love, which culminates in a night spent at Rhodie’s while her family is away for the weekend. When the two are caught, Dara makes a decision that she thinks will help protect them; she runs away to a job as a cook at Imperial State Prison for men. But there, she learns that her true self isn’t so easy to hide from.
Stoner’s book is both profound and funny, and her protagonist is both sweet and sardonic. I personally loved the voice of the book, but I felt it moved a bit too slowly, partly because of the amount of time Stoner spends describing almost every aspect of the setting. I loved that I could visualize everything so clearly, but I wondered if it was worth many of the plot elements getting lost in the description. Readers looking for a slow burn coming-of-age narrative with a slight romantic element will love this, but those looking for something a bit more compact might want to pick up something else.
|Author||Tammy Lynne Stoner|
|Page Count||344 pages|
|Publisher||Red Hen Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|