"...will touch hearts with its tale of a courageous and determined woman struggling against her own secrets, as well as of the patriarchy and intolerance of small-town, West Texas life." - the Advocate "The Best Books We Read in 2018"
"A powerful paperback that doesn't pull any emotional punches, Sugar Land is a debut you don't want to miss." - Bustle
"In this engaging and authentic tale of one woman’s life and loves, debut novelist stoner follows in the bright legacy of Southern humorists [like] ... Bailey White and Rebecca Wells." - Library Journal November 15, 2018
The long, wondrous life of a mostly closeted Texas lesbian, from teenage years in the kitchen at the men's prison to old age in a trailer off RR 23, with the 20th century rolling by in the background...
With a lively sense of humor and a great sense of place, tammy lynne stoner’s debut is a Southern novel from a voice that rings true. As Dara navigates these difficult circumstances, she realizes she’s constructed a prison around herself, keeping everyone out. With the help of her stepdaughters, one of whom dresses and presents herself as a man, Dara reclaims her life and comes out to her family.
In this always surprising and exhilarating first novel ... Dara is both practical and passionate, and likable to boot, as she makes her way in the world, sometimes clumsily, other times with determination, and always trying to remain true to herself. A lovely debut..."
How can you not adore a novel about love, food, and how working in a prison can help you discover whom you really are? Every page has a beating heart, every character is so alive, you swear you hear them breathing. Stoner is an original and this debut is just fantastic.
The characters we meet in SUGAR LAND brim with color, ache with longing, sass, snipe, strike, and, as the book itself does, sing. This big-hearted story spans decades, exploring at every turn the prisons we build ourselves, the exhilaration of cracking them wide open, and the heartbreaking cost when we can’t.
SUGAR LAND is lyrical and dynamic, detailing the true challenges of lesbian life in the years before gay liberation was even an idea, but perhaps best of all, SUGAR LAND leaves you with characters that linger on the mind and heart for days. This is fiction that stacks up with some of the best Southern storytelling out there...
Stoner has written a book that is heartfelt and tender... her use of language is so precise and perfect...
"It's a story that deals with heavy themes such as racism and gender and sexual discrimination and violence, but one that stoner writes with such a tender, warm lilt that readers don’t get bogged down. Her characters are complex, fully drawn and utterly alive..." - ArtsAtl
"[Sugar Land] is about improbable kindnesses stubbornly taking root in harsh environments; the resourcefulness of people who feel they’ve been cursed not just by society but their own desires; and how the toughest prisons are often the ones we create for ourselves ...
Sugar Land is a well written book and its writing style reminds one at times of Doris Lessing. There is a beautiful flow to the narrative, and the plot is expertly crafted. This is writing at its finest...
Quietly powerful ... Sugar Land is a raw, spiraling, and hopeful story about a woman who wishes that she didn’t love as she does, and the life she leads in the wake of her self-realizations.
tammy lynne stoner creates a captivating story for the ages—a young, southern girl in the 1920s who becomes a ballsy broad in a double-wide, and on the journey learns about love the hard way. This heartbreaking and hysterical book inspires us with a brave and unusual life.
Don’t miss this Southern coming-of-age gem about love and self-acceptance.
Sugar Land is a heartfelt story of what it meant to be ‘different’ in the Deep South during the middle 20th century. Dara is a superb character with warmth and genuine humanity.
It's 1923 in Midland, Texas, and Nana Dara, newly employed by the Imperial Prison Farm for men and newly awakened to a secret she'd rather lock up than face, has encountered the most unlikely of allies: Lead Belly. Yes, that Lead Belly. Out from this very particular pairing spools a Southern epic that spans decades. With beautiful peculiarity of detail and a perfect combination of sharpness and sensitivity, tammy lynne stoner pens a gorgeous debut novel about race, class, sexuality, and the prisons we make of ourselves.
stoner's debut story of a young woman trying to find her way in the world is both light and profound. Dara falls in love with her best friend, and the bliss she feels is like nothing ever before. Events occur which derail her future plans, so Dara regroups and tiptoes her way into a different kind of life. Sweet and serious, Sugar Land is a great coming-of-age story that looks at both the euphoria and the despair of first and all-consuming love. Fans of Fannie Flagg will be thrilled with Sugar Land.
tammy lynne stoner has a voice that’s all her own, lean and strong and unflinching, taking readers on a crazy and colorful ride toward the unexpected.
What drew me most ... was the energy of the writing and the exciting use of language ... Our amazing narrator took charge, propelling me forward through the piece, revealing layers of her past and her personality throughout in a way that made the piece really latch on to me and not let me go. This is a great, moving piece of writing that draws the reader into the character’s world, and the raw, unvarnished truth of her experience.