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21 Sugar Street

Posted on

21 Sugar Street

Current Status:
In Season
Lynn Lauber

We gave it an A

What Spike Lee failed to do in Jungle Fever, what Mira Nair nearly did in Mississippi Masala, Lynn Lauber accomplishes in 21 Sugar Street: She tells a wholly convincing story of interracial love and healing. In small-town Union, Ohio, circa 1970, racism is rife. Loretta Dardio’s teenage love for Luther Biggs is doomed. She has his baby and gives it up for adoption without seeing it. But a link has been forged that, decades later, draws their extended families together. An embittered black undertaker and a disappointed white businessman tell the story from their separate points of view, which gradually merge into an integrated vision. To write both honestly and optimistically about race relations in the U.S. now is something of a challenge. Lauber meets it ably in this sweetly fluent first novel. A