Sugar Cage

Connie May Fowler, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-399-13681-8
First novelist Fowler creates a lively, interwoven chorus of Southern voices in this engrossing tale of domestic life, civil rights and the supernatural in 1960s Florida. Among the speakers are Inez Temple, a respected and feared black woman whose work as a housecleaner does not diminish her regal bearing; Rose Looney, a perceptive but downtrodden housewife desperately in love with her dishonest husband, Charlie; the Looneys' independent son, Emory, torn between love and hate for his father; and Soleil Marie Beauvoir, a young Haitian voodoo priestess who loses her heart to falls in love with Emory. Inez dispenses practical wisdom about her community, Rose grows stronger as she schemes to win Charlie's devotion and Charlie manages somewhat to redeem himself, although never fully gaining his wife's trust. Fowler can be heavy-handed in depicting the struggle for civil rights; however, in Emory's anger and shame when he and Soleil Marie are taunted by whites at a carnival, in Rose's second thoughts about an anti-black protest, and in Inez and Soleil Marie's powerful responses to Martin Luther King Jr., the volatile issue is accurately and sympathetically evoked. Sensitive characterization and dramatic irony aplenty make this saga of a turbulent decade in a small town particularly memorable. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-671-74809-8
Hardcover - 461 pages - 978-0-8161-5577-4
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