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Twenty-One Sugar Street

Twenty-One Sugar Street

by Lynn Lauber

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Returning in her debut novel to characters introduced in the short story collection White Girls ( LJ 2/15/90), Lauber continues her examination of the romance between Luther Biggs, a black mortician, and Loretta Dadio, a white girl who has his child out of wedlock. Loretta is sent away from their small Midwestern hometown to give up the baby for adoption, Luther marries another woman, and the ensuing complications fracture families and strain relationships for the next 20 years before climaxing in a melodramatic ending that unrealistically reunites all the characters. After a striking first chapter that shows the impact of a racist English teacher on a black boy's life, Lauber doesn't adequately develop characters and events in this slim volume. Her characters have the potential to be animated and deeply human, but they're too sketchily defined. Not essential for most collections.-- David A. Berona, Westbrook Coll. Lib., Portland, Me.
Mary Carroll
Lauber returns to Union, Ohio, the setting of "White Girls" (1990), her well-regarded collection of interconnected short stories, to trace into the present the repercussions of the late-1960s interracial teenage romance of Loretta Dardio and Luther Biggs (a central element in the earlier book). Seven characters tell different parts of the narrative: Loretta and her gangling younger brother, Louis; Luther and his mother, Annie; Elaine Johnson Biggs, the homecoming queen Luther marries before Loretta returns from the home for unwed mothers, and Junior Johnson, her mortician father, who disowns Elaine for marrying the disreputable Luther; and Marcia Milner, the unhappy white social worker who adopts Kim, Loretta and Luther's child. "21 Sugar Street" is Annie Biggs' home, a place where Loretta finds acceptance and love, Elaine struggles to define her place, and Luther manages to get his act together. Lauber has created a gallery of memorable characters and a tale that understands the agonizing divisions of family and class and race but affirms the healing power of life and love and connection.

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.45(h) x 0.91(d)

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