Friday, February 13, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "The House at Sugar Beach"

"The House at Sugar Beach" by Helene Cooper is a memoir. At times it is quite intriguing. Especially the historical component.

Cooper tells of her life growing up in Liberia. A very privileged life. Until the locals grow weary of the government and stage a coup.

I don't want to give much away but there were some interesting tidbits throughout the book. Like Eunice, Helene's childhood friend/sister, and how she came to be a part of the Cooper clan. Heck, Eunice could and should write her own memoir.

One of my favorite parts in the book is when Helene's family ends up in the U.S. and she says that they are refugees and her mother insists that they are not. Her mother goes on to say something like ... "We paid for our airline tickets." That made me smile. Everyone has pride.

I also did just a bit of historical research on Liberia. It is somewhat fascinating. It is somewhat discouraging.

This is the first reading selection for the new year for my reading group (and the longest). I got through the book faster than I anticipated.

EDIT (comments following my reading group gathering):
  • Cooper could have written two different books: one on her family lineage and one on her career as an international journalist.
  • We wanted to know more about her mother and where is she now?
  • It seems as if Cooper became more guarded w/the details of her life when she moved to the U.S.
  • There was definitely lots of nostalgia and love for Liberia

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At 4:13 AM, Anonymous ifelcious said...

Sounds like a good book. I'm trying to make a reading list to encourage myself to read more regularly than I do now. I'm adding this to my list.


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