The Taste of Sugar

Written by:
Marisel Vera
Narrated by:
Kyla García

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2020
12 hours 56 minutes
Marisel Vera emerges as a major voice of contemporary fiction with a heart-wrenching novel set in Puerto Rico on the eve of the Spanish-American War.

It is 1898, and groups of starving Puerto Ricans, los hambrientos, roam the parched countryside and dusty towns begging for food. Under the yoke of Spanish oppression, the Caribbean island is forced to prepare to wage war with the United States. Up in the mountainous coffee region of Utuado, Vicente Vega and Valentina Sanchez labor to keep their small farm from the creditors. When the Spanish-American War and the great San Ciriaco Hurricane of 1899 bring devastating upheaval, the young couple is lured, along with thousands of other puertorriqueños, to the sugar plantations of Hawaii-another US territory-where they are confronted by the hollowness of America's promises of prosperity. Writing in the tradition of great Latin American storytelling, Marisel Vera's The Taste of Sugar is an unforgettable novel of love and endurance, and a timeless portrait of the reasons we leave home.
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Cindy L.

This book is very interesting if you like historical novels but also incredibly sad. I had a hard time with the Narrator’s “Siri” type reading throughout the book, but I enjoyed her Spanish.

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Great novel. Super transcending. If you enjoy historical fiction you’ll love this!

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Very much enjoyed the narrative and learning more about the history of Puerto Rico, although I felt the quality of the novel warranted better narration. As another reviewer put it, the narration is “Siri”-like.

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Terrible narration and boring. Couldn’t get into it, mostly due to the narration.

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Courtney L.

Narration is horrible, it sounds like someone reading a textbook, very jilted. Can’t get past the first few minutes…

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It helps to understand Spanish to enjoy the book. I had no idea of Puerto Rico’s history and it is not a happy one but interesting. The book could have gone forever but has a rather abrupt ending.

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Janna D.

Lovely family story revealing so much of the sad story of Puerto Rico transaction from colonial Spain to colonial North America. I learned so many much in this novel , it gave completely new perspective of Puerto Rico.

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Barbara D.

This book broke my heart to see the struggles of the people of PR. To get to know a family so intimately and continue to read how the get further and further from the life they once had! The role Spain and the US played and continues to play after all these years to me cringe! The love of each other and family through all the hell they went through was truly inspiring, however, the ending was so abrupt, I wonder if the author just couldn’t take it anymore! I felt cheated!

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