Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn- ARC Review

sugartown

My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  3 August 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 291

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Blurb

When Amandla wakes up on her fifteenth birthday she knows it’s going to be one of her mother’s difficult days. Her mother has had another vision. If Amandla wears a blue sheet her mother has loosely stitched as a dress and styles her normally braided hair in a halo around her head, Amandla’s father will come home. Amandla’s mother, Annalisa, always speaks of her father as if he was the prince of a fairytale, but in truth he’s been gone since before Amandla was born and even Annalisa’s memory of him is hazy. In fact many of Annalisa’s memories from before Amandla was born are hazy. It’s just one of the many reasons people in Sugar Town give Annalisa and Amandla strange looks–that and the fact her mother is white and Amandla is brown.

But when Amandla finds a mysterious address in the bottom of her mother’s handbag along with a large amount of cash, she decides it’s finally time to get answers about her mother’s life. But what she discovers will change the shape and size of her family forever.

1

Review

Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!

Amandla and her mother, Annalise, live in Sugar Town, a Township in South Africa. Struggling to survive financially and with her mother’s frequent memory lapses and delusions about her missing father’s return, Amandla’s dreams of leaving Sugar Town have always been far away.  When she finds a scrap of paper, with an unfamiliar address on it, in her mother’s bag, Amandla sets the wheels in motion to discover the past her mother can’t remember. After being told their family consists only of her and her mother, suddenly Amandla discovers a grandmother. A rich grandmother. With an awful, racist grandfather. And her grandfather is determined that Amandla will not get to know her dying grandmother.

This was such a brilliant read, with incredible characters and a story that was both strong and touching.  Amandla’s friends, Lil Bit and Goodness were fantastic side characters with their own family drama, all lending to a story that captured the heart and desperation of Sugar Town.

Sugar Town Queens absolutely captivated me. I couldn’t put it down. I NEEDED to know what had happened in Annalise’s past and why Amandla was living in Sugar Town when her extended family were so wealthy.  With tough themes of racism, poverty and mental illness, the author did a wonderful job of weaving a story that gives an insight into a post apartheid South Africa.

If you’re looking for a book with hidden family secrets, tough situations and characters you’ll fall in love with, make sure you check out Sugar Town Queens!

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