Our Bookseller says:
“Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run is a jigsaw of queer Appalachia: one moment you’re in the arms of your lover, the next you’re their affair, and the next you’re their cigarette tipping into a bourbon glass, drunk spinning in the wet highway grass. Each gorgeously lush line just falls into the next. Maren achieves something so few debuts do and packs generations of talent and struggle into one book. Washed up country singers, land disputes, fracking, car chases, motel hook-ups, and DIY haircuts, Maren has something for everyone—kind of like an Orange is the New Black meets modern-day Faulkner and David Joy. But more than any rural grit, though, this is a beautiful story about how we create new homes and fall in love and find family. Even when the world violently shifts—or fails to shift—despite us.” — Mason
In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison. When she’s released eighteen years later, she finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom but determined to chart a better course for herself. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian Mountains, she heads south in search of someone she left behind, as a way of finally making amends. There, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother living in a motel room with her children. Together they head toward what they hope will be a fresh start. But what do you do with your past—and with a town and a family that refuses to forget, or to change?
Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run is a searing and gritty debut about making a break for another life, the use and treachery of makeshift families, and how, no matter the distance we think we’ve traveled from the mistakes we’ve made, too often we find ourselves standing in precisely the place we began.