Sugar Run by Mesha Maren

Sugar Run

On the far side the view was nothing but ridgelines, the craggy silhouettes rising up against the night sky like the body of some dormant god. Jodi felt her breath go tight in her chest. This road went only one way, it seemed, in under the mountains until you were circled.In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. She’s released eighteen years later and finds herself at a Greyhound bu...

Details Sugar Run

TitleSugar Run
Release DateJan 8th, 2019
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Lgbt, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Sugar Run

  • Larry H
    3.5 stars.There are some books which fill you with a sense of foreboding the minute you start reading them, sort of the way you may be poised to put your hands over your eyes when watching a scary movie—you know something bad will happen, but you just don't know when.That's the way I felt while reading Mesha Maren's Sugar Run . This novel about a woman's quest for a new beginning even though she quickly falls into all of her old habits isn't s...
  • Susanne Strong
    3.75 Stars* (rounded up).There are times, when the cards are stacked against you. Be it of your own making or simply the cut of the deck on any given day. In “Sugar Run” - try as hard as she might, Jodi just can’t catch a break.Seventeen years ago, in 1989, Jodi was arrested for manslaughter. She spent eighteen years in prison and honestly never imagined she’d get out. Yet here she is. Her destination is her Grandmother’s Effie’s cabi...
  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    Good Lort. I am finally done with this book!!!!!!!This is an actual picture of me for the last 2 months reading it. That's right. Two months.So you have Jodi who is just getting out of prison. She was convicted of manslaughter and has finally got the freedom call. She keeps thinking about some land she supposedly has in West she is going to head towards that. (Do I sound bored?? WELL I AM..that's all this book is going to get)But fir...
  • Cheri
    4.5 Stars”I was raised up from tinychildhood in those purple hills,right slam on the brink of language” -- Denis JohnsonThe women in the prison where Jodi is in residence have no idea what the landscape outside looked like, except the prison yard. As this story begins, Jodi is in the process of being released after eighteen years at Jaxton, she’d never known that there were mountains all around. “From the exercise yard she had seen only w...
  • Suzanne Leopold
    Jodi Mccarty is 35 years old and has just been released from prison. She was incarcerated for seventeen years after shooting her girlfriend in a jealous rage. Her plan is to head back to West Virginia where she will live on her grandmother’s land. On her journey, she makes a stop in Georgia to help her late girlfriend's brother who grew up in an abusive home. There, she unexpectedly meets and quickly falls for a twenty-five-year-old drug addict...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Blurbed by Scott McClanahan and Lauren Groff, agent Bill Clegg, published by Algonquin, Sugar Run is about a woman who was sentenced at 17 for murder and then without warning released and left without any resources to return home to West Virginia. The story alternates between 2007 ("present" day) and 1989 to fill in the gaps. I can't say I "enjoyed" it per se, that's not the right word for it, because the premise is dark, the main character is fl...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    I usually try to work through my galleys in the order I receive them, so I started reading SUGAR RUN when I found myself awake in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep. When I read the first few pages and realized that this was a lyrical novel with lovely prose and a loose plot about a woman who's just been released from prison, I thought maybe I should put it down and read something else. But I ended up reading it for a couple o...
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    3 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for the chance to read and review this ARC. Publication date January 8, 2019. I am not sure exactly what it was that I was expecting or waiting for in this book, but it never seemed to materialize. For a debut novel there was plenty of action in the story, some good character development and a plausible plot, but for me it just missed the mark. The story of a young Appalachian girl imprisoned for...
  • Nancy
    From the beginning, I had the feeling that things were not going to turn out well for Jodi.After serving eighteen years of a lifetime prison sentence, Jodi is free under supervised release. The jails are overcrowded, and she was only seventeen when convicted of killing her girlfriend Paula. She is given a bus ticket and sent into the world to report to her home district parole officer.But Jodi instead takes a bus in the other direction, to save P...
  • Marjorie
    Jodi McCarty is out of jail, after having spent 18 years imprisoned for manslaughter. She has only two things in mind – rescue her old lover’s brother, Ricky, from his abusive father and then go home to the land in West Virginia that her grandmother, Effie, left her. As she sets out to do that, she meets and falls in love with Miranda. Miranda has her own problems. She’s estranged from her husband, a washed-up singer, who has taken her thre...
  • Libby
    ‘Sugar Run’ by Mesha Maren is her debut novel about thirty-five-year-old Jodi McCarty, released from Jaxton Prison after serving eighteen years. Jodi isn’t placed on a reentry program; just supervised release with scheduled check-ins with a parole officer. As Jodi leaves the prison where she’s been an inmate for the last eighteen years, she sees mountains and realizes that she never knew they existed, having seen only the flatness of her ...
  • Margo Littell
    At seventeen, Jodi was imprisoned for what she’s always maintained was a gun accident that left her girlfriend, Paula, dead. Now, released after serving eighteen years of her sentence, Jodi is free. She meets a wayward single mother, Miranda, who is barely managing to care for herself and three young sons. Miranda agrees to help Jodi keep the promise she made to Paula years ago: to rescue Paula’s little brother, Ricky, from their violent fath...
  • Rhiannon Johnson
    Check out my full review on my blog: know how I kept bitching about the repackaged and mass-produced mediocre stories that publishers are throwing mega marketing dollars at in hopes that some of it sticks and people will say they love it "because everyone else does"? Well...I just finished Sugar Run and *BOOM*...finally, a book with a backbone! In the vein of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone or Laura McH...
  • Kate
    A 17 year old is locked away for life, only to be granted early release. As she makes her way to her beloved patch of land in West Virginia, she comes across a young mother, desperate to reunite with her small sons. Add addictions, pills, fracking, more pills, scientology, country music, gambling, drugs (and not just pills), parole officers, rich hippy, messy family dynamics, poor choices, late 1980s, 2007, and scrappy optimism, and you on your w...
  • Lindsay Hunter
    Every sentence is perfect. A book that lets you settle in and breathe, then knocks the breath right out of you.
  • Jessica Sullivan
    At the heart of this gritty debut is a damaged woman seeking redemption. Jodi has just been released from prison after 18 years. Her goal is to return home to land she grew up on in the Appalachian mountains, but not until she finds Ricky, the mentally disabled younger brother of her former lover, Paula.Along the way, she meets Miranda, a young mother of three boys who has faced her own set of challenges. Together, they seek to build a life toget...
  • Stacey A. Prose and Palate
    "After school I used to go on these walks," Miranda said. "We lived in this subdivision, one of those with the houses with fake shutters glued up beside all of the windows and they were always building new homes. But down at the end of my road everything turned to fields, just big, blank, muddy fields. And I used to walk. I'd go to the dead end and find a leaf or grass. I'd hold it up and let the wind take it, and whatever direction it blew, that...
  • Jan
    Nicely written debut novel about two hard-luck young women after one of them is released from prison after serving 17 years for killing her girlfriend. The combination of difficult circumstances and self-destructive choices made for tough reading, and I didn’t get sufficiently attached to the characters for the story to break my heart, but I will keep an eye out for Maren in the future.
  • Jenn Conwell
    Thank you Algonquin Books for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.This story is about Jodi who has just gotten out of prison after serving 18 years there. She’s faced with a tough battle to try and stay out of harms way, even though it’s seemingly proving itself hard to do. She's traveling down south to make ammends with someone connected to her previous crime before she was arrested. Along the way, she meets and falls in love ...
  • Neville Longbottom
    At seventeen years old Jodi McCarty was sentenced to life in prison. Eighteen years later in 2007 she’s released, giving her the freedom she never thought she’d have again. She goes looking for the brother of an old girlfriend and strikes up a relationship with a new woman as she tries to make a life outside of prison. I definitely think there are some good parts to this book, but it didn’t end up working for me overall. I was expecting the...
  • M.A. Barrett
    I was all in on this book from page one. I felt every word. What a beautiful, painful exploration of redemption and shame. Jodi, who went to jail in her late teens for murder, is suddenly out of jail and needs to get to WV to find her dead lover's younger brother to get him out of an abusive situation. She finds Miranda, a pill-popping woman/child and her three boys instead and they set out on a journey that becomes something of a ramshackle life...
  • Geonn Cannon
    I'm not really a big fan of bleak, dark, noir stories like this one, but it was very well written and kept me invested. It's also another example of a book that has a Very Important Event that takes place in the main character's past, but it tells us via alternating flashback chapters so that the book ends with the reveal of what actually happened. It's like a book being spliced with its prequel.
  • Kristen
    Suuuuper quick read. I was completely driven to keep reading by an overall sense of desperation and foreboding for Jodi. I mean. Wow. How many strikes can one person have against them?
  • Amanie
    This captivating story about a woman recently released from prison perfectly captures the terrifying ways that hope and belonging are often embodied states rather than an end destination, and the many ways that running away from our past can also mean running straight into it. Jodi has dreamed of returning to her family property in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, but has some loose ends to tie first. Along the way, she meets a trouble...
  • Pamela
    This book was a disappointment. It was also a tad boring, surprising since the premise doesn't sound like that at all. The book starts with Jodi just being released out of jail after 18 years, early even, after killing her girlfriend Paula. The book slowly tells you the story of what led up to the shooting, was it an accident, or purposeful? The main part of the book is after she leaves jail. First she wants to Paula's brother, to save him, as th...
  • Kristin-Leigh
    (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher based on my review of another excellent novel with a non-linear plot about women who commit crimes, Emily Ruskovich's Idaho. They picked their audience well, I really loved this!)In the vocabulary of this novel, a "sugar run" is a winning streak - a stretch of incredible luck before a crash. Jodi, a lesbian in hostile territory, carries the reader through what one could call two sugar runs -...
  • Tess
    Just finished Sugar Run by Mesha Maren and trying to catch my breath again. It is a beautiful, epic novel about redemption, rebuilding, and the ups and downs of trying to create your own family.
  • Joe
    I found this book to be a huge disappointment. The narrative moves back and forth following Jodi before and after her release from prison.The story is confusing at best and extremely unsatisfying. As I reached the end, I questioned why I had continued to read on. I have no satisfactory answer.
  • Melissa
    I’m not too fond of slow-paced books and this was definitely a very slow book. I wanted to mark it as DNF within the first 50 pages. But the more I kept reading though, the more intrigued I was with the dark, gritty and flawed characters.While in prison, Jodi fantasized that if she ever got out, she would rescue her deceased girlfriend’s younger brother, Ricky, from his abusive home and raise cattle on the plot of land she inherited from her ...
  • Allison Hiltz
    Reviewed at The Book Wheel.Jodi is invisible. Okay, she’s not actually invisible, but she feels like she is. It’s a feeling that started in childhood, when her twin brothers came along and stole the spotlight. It persisted into adolescence, when she did everything she could to be seen, whether by family or strangers. It was, in fact, her desire to be seen that landed her in prison at age 17 for manslaughter, and it was this same desire that l...