Book Club Love for Sugar Run

It has been a pretty fantastic debut for Mesha Maren’s first novel, Sugar Run. After landing on Entertainment Weekly‘s list of Most Anticipated Books of 2018, the book earned a flurry of outstanding early praise, and the New York Times featured it as an Editor’s Pick. 

And here’s snippet from the spectacular review in O, The Oprah Magazine:

Sugar Run is a literary page-turner, hair-raising in both plot and prose. Maren writes with windswept grace and stark sensuality; Jodi’s visions of Appalachia teem with the ‘smell of wheat in the field and sunlight scissoring through the trees.’ The nascent bond between Jodi and Miranda is cut with flashbacks revealing how teenage Jodi landed in jail—after falling under the spell of an older woman who expanded her world and also led her astray. These sections are in present tense, acknowledging that Jodi’s past is never behind her. She may no longer be incarcerated, but she remains constrained by shame.

In this rough-and-tumble Southern noir, there are no quick fixes. Mistakes once made can’t be undone, especially when, as Jodi reflects, ‘she’d laid the old pattern over her new life.’ “

Plus now there are two great opportunities in February to catch up with this breakout debut novel of 2019. Both the BuzzFeed Book Club and the Washington Post‘s Lily Lit Club have chosen Sugar Run as their February selection:


BuzzFeed announced their Sugar Run pick with a post featuring original illustrations that we thought were delightful. Subscribe to their book club newsletter for exclusive content and giveaways, and join their Facebook group, to share your thoughts and participate in a Q&A with Mesha.




The Lily Lit Club features a new pick from a female author each month. Follow along on Instagram, where they’ll do giveaways and post discussion questions using #LilyLitClub and #LilyLitLines.



Whichever book club you decide to join up with (and why not do both?) you can win the discussion with some of Algonquin’s own exclusive content:

  • “In writing Sugar Run, I wanted to explore this idea of leaving versus staying and whether you can ever really belong again in a place you once called home.” Maren’s essay about the inspiration behind her novel is a must-read.
  • Maren talks about some of the albums, books, and podcasts (among other things) that are in her rotation in this blog post.

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