Jane Harris

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Sugar Money

book | Fiction | 2017

Martinique, 1765, and brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French master, Father Cleophas, with a mission. They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back the 42 slaves claimed by English invaders at the hospital plantation in Fort Royal. While Lucien, barely in his teens, sees the trip as a great adventure, the older and worldlier Emile has no illusions about the dangers they will face. But with no choice other than to obey Cleophas - and sensing the possibility, however remote, of finding his first love Celeste - he sets out with his brother on this 'reckless venture'.

With great characters, a superb narrative set up, and language that is witty, bawdy and thrillingly alive, Sugar Money

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Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for Sugar Money

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Reviews

Based on a true story, the drama — which turns on an audacious Christmas Eve bid for escape — supplies rip-roaring adventure and unspeakable tragedy, while airing dirty laundry from Britain’s imperial past.

The Daily Mail

A thrilling adventure, cleverly observed and written, that's full of atmosphere and local colour. 

Women and Home

Based on a true story, and told by Lucien in rich, supple prose that echoes the rhythms of Caribbean speech, Sugar Money gives a memorable voice to people whose lives have largely been ignored by history and fiction.

The Sunday Times

'Jane Harris pitches you headfirst into this outstanding, heartbreaking story of siblings, slavery and the savagery of the colonial past

Sunday Express

A lyrical, vividly told adventure story set in Martinique in 1785 from the bestselling author of Gillespie And I. 

Red

Sometimes it’s descriptive, lyrical prose that envelops you immediately in another world; sometimes it’s a mesmerising vernacular. Sugar Money is one of those novels where the lilt and rhythm of a dialect are transportive.

The Pool

Harris' strong writing manages to weave the horrifying and sobering details of Lucien's life into a tale that is also, by turns, an adventure, a romance, and a study of brotherly love. 

Glamour

Harris’s great triumph is Lucien’s voice… It is in Grenada that Harris makes the brutal reality of slavery utterly plain. The risk of her earlier restraint has paid off and the brief, harrowing scenes towards the novel’s climax have an extra power because of it.

The Spectator

Sugar Money is a historical novel, but it is also a story of people and relationships; and when one of those people is Lucien, it makes it hard to put down.

The Scotsman