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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • ♥ 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Paul
    The Lesbian Crime Novel has become a genre (how I wish Patricia Highsmith was alive to see it!), and this is a pretty good entry. Ms. Maren has concocted a pretty sad, downbeat narrative about Jodi, an ex-convict trying and for the most part failing to straighten out her life as she hooks up with the drug-addicted estranged wife of a washed-up country singer, absconds with her new lover's three young children, then lures her dead girlfriend's men...
  • Ed
    Excited about Mesha Maren's forthcoming book, I read a NetGalley copy and said I'd give an honest review, get this book -Jodi has spent more than half her life in prison, this book begins the day she is released. Part of her is stuck in what happened, she's drawn to old haunts of motels, women, roadside bars, and card tables until she can get home to a cabin in a West Virginia. What's hard about prison is that while the mountains and the people c...
  • 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.
  • Susan Doyle
    A Good TaleWell written. Good characters. Sad story but very believable especially how ill equipped former prisoners are for sustainable life after prison. The evil brothers, constant drug and alcohol abuse were over the top for me. Seemed almost superfluous.
  • 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.
  • Briana
    I absolutely LOVED this book. It grabbed my attention right away and entangled me in the lives of the main characters. I couldn't stop reading unless I had to go to work or sleep but I kept thinking about the next time I could read this book again. I can't wait to meet the author tomorrow and tell her just how beautiful this book was.
  • Adam Samuel Martin
    lots of hype but pretty mediocre. read “the mars room” instead
  • Jennifer
    This book will give you a run for your money. Don’t expect anything but the unexpected- what else could you, when you’re dealing with an ex-convict, two new lovers and a promise that still needs to be fulfilled 18 years after it was made? I just have to say- this is one of the most unique stories I read in 2018– there are many complex layers and I really appreciated the depth of the writing.
  • Carol
    Jodi has just been released from 18 years in prison and is looking for Ricky before she moves back with her family. 10% of the way into the book and already there were too many "ain't gonna's' for my taste and I had to stop reading. Thank you NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest opinion.
  • Casey
    Thanks to Algonquin Books for providing me with a free e-ARC via NetGalley.At 17, Jodi McCarty was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. 18 years later she finds herself suddenly released. She tries to return home to West Virginia, falling in love with young mother Miranda along the way and trying to escape the way her past always seems to circle back on her. This book, y’all. How is it not in everyone’s hands yet? Maren captures the ...
  • Cori
    Pour yourself some whiskey and put on some Johnny Cash. With her lyrical cadence and colorful descriptions, Maren establishes a strong sense of place allowing a vicarious experience of the steamy, oppressive Southern heat and culture. The stories of how Miranda and Jodi lost their way and found each other are so compelling you willingly take the journey with them watching their past lives unravel while their present lives intersect and begin to i...
  • Annie
    It is difficult, if not impossible, for newly released convicts to get back on their feet after their sentences. The lucky ones find jobs and have support networks. Unlucky ones, like Jodi in Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run, have no guidance after they are set at liberty. All Jodi has is an appointment with a parole officer, a $400 loan from her family, and a self-imposed mission to find a friend from eighteen years prior with whom she has unfinished b...