Once you start reading, you will not be able to stop nor will you want to.
--Amos Lassen Reviews
Sugar Land follows a smart and feisty lesbian liberating herself from prisons literal and figurative in Depression-era West Texas. She meets real-life blues legend Lead Belly, marries a warden (part of both her escape and imprisonment), and becomes a stepmother -- but her life spirals downward with the deaths of the two men. Crumpling under the weight of life, she purchases a mobile home, falls in love with a local seamstress, and becomes matriarch of a family of misfits....Sugar Land is a beautiful next step -- a book that will remind you a bit of Fried Green Tomatoes and could one day be a film about a determined woman struggling against her own secrets, as well as homophobia and misogyny in small-town Texas.
--Diane Anderson-Minshall, Editorial Director of Advocate
How can you not adore a novel about love, food, and how working in a prison can help you discover who you really are? Every page has a beating heart; every character is so alive, you swear you hear them breathing. Stoner is an original and this debut is just fantastic.
--Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
It's 1923 in Midland, Texas, and Nana Dara, newly employed by the Imperial State Prison Farm for men and newly awakened to a secret she'd rather lock up than face, has encountered the most unlikely of allies: Leadbelly. Yes, that Leadbelly. Out from this very particular pairing spools a Southern epic that spans decades. With beautiful peculiarity of detail and a perfect combination of sharpness and sensitivity, Tammy Lynne Stoner pens a gorgeous debut novel about race, class, sexuality, and the prisons we make of ourselves.
--Gigi Little, Powell's Book Seller and editor of City of Weird
With Sugar Land, Stoner creates a captivating story for the ages--a young, southern girl in the 1920's who becomes a ballsy broad in a double-wide, and on the journey learns about love the hard way. This heartbreaking and hysterical book inspires us with a brave and unusual life. Sugar Land is for anyone who still believes in love.
--Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted
Much of what occurs in the novel is difficult to swallow, in great part because the story takes place in a time when Dara's identity is not readily accepted, even by herself . . . Sugar Land is a raw, spiraling, and hopeful story about a woman who wishes that she didn't love as she does, and the life she leads in the wake of her self-realizations.
--Hannah Hohman, Foreword Review
Stoner has written a book that is heartfelt and tender . . . These characters linger and are quite unforgettable. It's very much a Southern book in language and with Stoner's observations that are wry and thoughtful. Sugar Land spans decades in a well-told, easy going manner and I finished the book with a satisfied smile.
Overall, Sugar Land is a precisely-told, gritty, redeeming story about second chances filled with hope and inspiration, if you look for it.
--Jennifer of Tar Heel Reader