Sugar Run

Sugar Run

by Mesha Maren


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“A heady admixture of explosive plot and taut, burnished prose . . . Mesha Maren writes like a force of nature.” —Lauren Groff, author of Florida

In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison. When she’s released eighteen years later, she finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom but determined to chart a better course for herself. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian Mountains, she heads south in search of someone she left behind, as a way of finally making amends. There, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother living in a motel room with her children. Together they head toward what they hope will be a fresh start. But what do you do with your past—and with a town and a family that refuses to forget, or to change?

Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run is a searing and gritty debut about making a break for another life, the use and treachery of makeshift families, and how, no matter the distance we think we’ve traveled from the mistakes we’ve made, too often we find ourselves standing in precisely the place we began.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616206215
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Edition description: General
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 57,220
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mesha Maren’s short stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, the Oxford American, Southern Culture, Hobart, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She is the 2018-2019 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the Beckley Federal Correctional Institution.

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Sugar Run 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 9 days ago
I kept waiting for something to happen, an explanation as to why. And it was frustrating that the main character kept making obvious horrible choices. Like watching a train wreck, I couldn't stop reading but only just to finish the story. Ending was chaotic and confusing. Overall it was okay though.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Nothing ever happens and I could barely get halfway through. These editorial reviews must have been reading a different book...
Sandy5 12 months ago
When Jodi gets released from prison, her goal is to make it West Virginia so she can live on some property that belongs to her grandmother. Jodi has fond memories of this piece of land from her childhood and after 18 years in prison, Jodi is ready to start living. In route to her destination, Jodi makes a planned stop and saves Ricky but when she stops off at a bar, she runs into Miranda where they hit it off. Miranda is close to losing custody of her children and Miranda claims, that she also wants to get her life straightened out. When Jodi later sets off to begin her new life, she is no longer traveling alone. Life gets complicated for Jodi when she finally arrives in West Virginia. Her grandmother’s land is no longer in the family yet Jodi is not letting go of the land without a fight. United with her siblings, Jodi is having a hard time trying to reestablish herself as her past is slowly creeping back into her life. Miranda claims that she wants a new life, but illegal activities are becoming her norm. I enjoyed the feel of the novel, it had this easy calm feel to it. I felt as if Jodi was the only one who was putting forth any effort in this novel and since she was living back in an unhealthy environment, I wondered how she could be successful. Fresh out of prison, surrounded by illegal activities, and not surrounded but good role models, I feared for her and her future. Then, there were Miranda’s children. They were now a part of this mix. 3.5 stars