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Sugarland: a novel by [Rodgers, Joni]
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Sugarland: a novel Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The girl-power quotient runs high in Rodgers's alternately wrenching and humorous follow-up to her debut, Crazy for Trying, a finalist for the 1996 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. The daughters of a show biz-minded mother, Kit and Kiki Smithers spent their Texas youth entertaining at county fairs and state penitentiaries under the name of the Sugar Babes. Having loved the glamour of glitzy costumes and cheering audiences, Kit and Kiki find adult domesticity in honky-tonk Texas less than satisfying. Pregnant with her third child, Kiki is reluctant to leave her abusive, philandering husband, and all the verbal foreplay Kit's gone-to-fat husband can muster is "Mmm. You smell good. Like pancakes." Kiki's brief return to her performing artist roots is curtailed by the tornado that threatens her children's lives and seals the fate of her troubled marriage. Meanwhile, Kit has two quickie flings, resulting in a pregnancy of questionable paternity. Readers with true equality of the sexes on their minds may object that Kiki's husband's cheating is treated as an actionable offense while Kit's marital excursions are permitted the luxury of mitigating circumstances. Rodgers's strength, however, is her knack for realistic characters who show their faults un-self-consciously. The country-western twang of her prose salts the heartache she's not afraid to show with a womanly, wise, laugh-through-the-tears appreciation of life. (May) FYI: Rodgers grew up as a performer in a family of bluegrass/gospel musicians and was the first deejay in Helena, Mont.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

As little girls, Kit and Kiki Smithers of Sugar Land, TX, could belt out songs that made audiences love them. As adults, they are finding love harder to handle, as Kiki deals with her philandering, physically abusive husband, Wayne, and Kit feels the love seep out of her marriage to Mel, a good man who is just letting himselfAand their relationshipAgo. When both sisters become pregnant for the third time, suffering ensues: cataclysmic loss for Kiki and overwhelming guilt for Kit, unsure of her unborn child's paternity after a virtual assault by Wayne and a spontaneous tumble with her boss. Their show-biz-agent mother, Viveca, nurtures and nudges the sisters as she herself battles cancer. In snappy prose, Rodgers (Crazy for Trying, LJ 10/15/96) creates fully dimensional characters in a story with elements of love, loss, humor, passion, joy, feminism, and even mothers-in-law. As richly appealing as the best country music, this is for all fiction collections.AMichele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 871 KB
  • Print Length: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Stella Link (December 10, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 10, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058ZX7PM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,052 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Funny, Poignant, Sexy, Exciting, Compassionate, Smart, Scary, Earthy, Heartbreaking, Courageous, Lyrical -- just like life. During a storm scene, I actually put the book down to go turn off my computer to protect it from lightning, only to realize it was a beautiful spring day in the real world -- that's how compelling the writing is. I read this novel because I liked the author's autobiographical "Bald in the Land of Big Hair" so much and wanted to check out her fiction. I am extremely impressed and look forward to reading her "Crazy for Trying" next.
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By Ruth W on February 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book Feb 1, 2012. It is now 230am Feb 2, 2012 and I'm already done with the book! That should speak to how I literally could not put the book down (except when I had to for eating, school and work) From the beginning, the unusual style and lyrical quality of the story within the story drew me in and garnered my attention. The depth of the characters and the issues were also remarkable. I must say, one of the reasons I loved this book so much was because the characters actually felt real - at points, I could imagine my own sister, friend, mother behaving, thinking, feeling these very things. At other points, I was annoyed, shocked, upset at the characters for one reason or the other. The point is that I truly felt like the characters were very human, in the sense that they tackled the universal issues of women - marriage, motherhood, what it means to be a daughter, lover, mother, sister, feeling torn between obligations or responsibilities or desires to oneself versus others. At the same time, the characters were not cookie cutter images, they had conflicting and contradictory aspects of their personalities (like we all do) and their own special quirks and unique qualities (which is what truly make us human, isnt it). I saw the characters struggle with growth versus retaining what they felt to be their essential identities, and felt that I could understand, empathize and respect their struggles, even if I didn't always like their attitudes/thoughts/actions, and to me, that is the essence of a great book. Being able to see and feel the characters come alive and at the end of it, wish they were still somehow going on. I will definitely be re-reading this book and recommending it highly!!
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Format: Paperback
A beautifully written book by an author who has a way of truly giving her characters life and substance. I found myself holding my breath with Kit, crying with Kiki and pounding my fist in the air when justice was served to Wayne. A book with pain and triumph, love and laughter, survival and true emotion. Reading this book was a great way to spend my time.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewers throughout the country agree: Sugar Land is a winner! According to Publishers Weekly, "The girl-power quotient runs high in Rodgers' alternately wrenching and humorous follow-up to her debut, Crazy for Trying. . . Rodgers' strength however, is her knack for realistic characters who show their faults unselfconsciously. . . .The country-western twang of her prose salts the heartache she's not afraid to show with a womanly, wise, laugh-through-the-tears appreciation of life." Library Journal adds, "In snappy prose, Rodgers creates fully dimensional characters in a story with elements of love, loss, humor, passion, joy, feminism, and even mothers-in-law." And Booklist declares, "Sweet, sad, often funny, Sugar Land has all the elements of a classic country song, saliently including the courage of everyday people in tough situations." And finally, Southern Living sums it all up by stating, "Every character in this novel resonates with life. This talented author knows how to bring paper-and-ink people to flesh-and-blood fulfillment through description, dialogue, and drama so rich and varied it reads just like real life." There you have it! This book is a great read, perfect for those who love epic novels about larger-than-life women who make you laugh and cry at the same time as you read about their their triumphs as well as their defeats as they deal with this crazy experience we call life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had read all the reviews, and respectfully disagree with the person who found it so "soap opera-like." I thought it portrayed the characters so realistically that I felt like I knew them. The author knows her craft for sure. As for so many things happening in these interconnected lives, I have known families who have tragedy after tragedy hit them like a hail of bullets. I tried to forget the "partial spoiler" that the displeased reviewer wrote. I had to find out for myself if this book was as bad as she said. It wasn't. In fact, I'm giving it 5 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joni Rodgers writes fearlessly - and beautifully. I couldn't put down this novel about two sisters in Texas, discovering the difference between what they want and what's expected of them. And I marveled throughout at the humor and depth of the prose, whether Rodgers was writing about disappointment, longing, love, sex, Scandinavian kitsch, or all of them at once in the same indelible scene. A must-read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grab this book, and sit down for a slice of life. You will find a bit of everything in this book, just as we find in life. There was a touch of almost every emotion known to us, and you felt them along with the sisters. The fears and uncertainty of dealing with an abusive husband, the ennui of being wife and mother, problems and joys with children, Mom, and in-laws. The characters are familiar, but not predictable. They are people we've met, and people we know, but with a touch of whimsy at times and at other times a touch of tragedy that shapes the person they have become. I was caught up in the story enough that I felt I was reading about people I know.

The author's style is to change from one POV to another, also changing the locale, and the time frame, so I often had to figure out who I was reading about, and re-read to get comfortable in the current scene. And with dreams and flashbacks thrown in without warning, I sometimes felt disoriented, and had trouble 'catching up'. I finally learned to just keep reading. The confusion would clear up, the questions would get answered, and throughout, the story does flow in its own time and its own way.

Some grammar/spelling/fact errors, but not severe. I didn't try to track them, so someone else would need to do the proofreading. But one glaring error was a child having a temp of 202.7

Names and nicknames galore, to the point of confusion. Many of them are similar, which compounded things. It is a poor reading habit of mine to often see the first few letters, and assume a name. With a Kit and a Kiki, I was forced to pay better attention.
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