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Sugar Money

Jane Harris

Based on a remarkable and little-known true story, Jane Harris’s third novel is both a heart-breaking trip into our troubled colonial past, and a stunning act of literary ventriloquism.

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The stunning return from the Orange Prize shortlisted author of The Observations and Gillespie and I

‘Pitches you headfirst into this outstanding, heartbreaking story of siblings, slavery and the savagery of the colonial past.’ SUNDAY EXPRESS

‘Harris builds a lush sense of place, and the pace and tension of a rip-roaring adventure here, with derring-do and double-crossing.’ THE TIMES

‘Through masterful detail, Harris shows the dehumanisation of the brothers and their fellow slaves . . . Beautifully cadenced.’ IRISH TIMES

Martinique, 1765, and brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French master, Father Cleophas, with a mission. They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back the 42 slaves claimed by English invaders at the hospital plantation in Fort Royal. While Lucien, barely in his teens, sees the trip as a great adventure, the older and worldlier Emile has no illusions about the dangers they will face. But with no choice other than to obey Cleophas – and sensing the possibility, however remote, of finding his first love Celeste – he sets out with his brother on this ‘reckless venture’.

With great characters, a superb narrative set up, and language that is witty and thrillingly alive, Sugar Moneyis a novel to treasure.

Critic Reviews

The Obversations has all the necessary ingredients for a Rebecca-like absorption. There’s a bright young Irish maid for a heroine, with a mysterious past; a beautiful mistress with her own set of secrets; and a rambling old house complete with creaking attic… there are enough twists and turns to keep a cynical adult reader up half the night.

Eleanor Birne, London Review of Books
Critic Reviews

Harris's rollicking yet delicate narrative pitch set the book apart ... this is a true one-off.

Joanna Briscoe, Guardian
Critic Reviews

Vastly original… Bessy is surely one of the most striking characters in recent fiction: cynical, disruptive, tender and very, very funny.

Independent on Sunday
Critic Reviews

Bessy Buckley can hold her head up with Moll Flanders and Becky Sharp as a living, breathing mortal…

Sarah Burton, The Times
Critic Reviews

Funny and original… What lifts the book out of the ordinary is Bessy’s compelling narrative voice.

Peter Parker, Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

In Gillespie & I, Harris has pulled off the only too rare double-whammy -- a Booker-worthy novel that I want to read again.

Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times

Jane Harris was born in Belfast and brought up in Glasgow. Her debut novel, The Observations, was shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, and she was also shortlisted for the British Book Awards Waterstone’s Newcomer of the Year and the South Bank Show/Times Breakthrough Award. It was followed in 2011 by the highly acclaimed Gillespie & I,…

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