"The House at Sugar Beach" reviewed by Laura Russell on February 7, 2017

Your Name: 
Laura Russell   
The House at Sugar Beach   
Helene Cooper   
This is a: 
Your Review: 
I have mixed feelings about this book. I don't think the author could decide what kind of book she wanted to write--an autobiography or a history book. She goes between recounting personal events and stating facts regarding the founding of Liberia and its civil wars. Topics seemed to jump around a lot and there were times I felt lost in terms of where she was in her personal story. An example of this is when she recounts nearly ten years of her life and then all of a sudden, she says "by the way, this is what was going on in my sister's life for the past 6 years and, oh yeah, Liberia's government went through this awful thing since the last time I mentioned the country ten chapters ago." I don't think adding in the facts about Liberia's government helped enhance the book in any way. I think this just should have been two separate books-an autobiography and a history book on Liberia. In addition to all of this, I found her writing to be very dry. For an autobiography, it seemed very factual, with few descriptions about how she felt during very significant events in her life. There was one moment of the book where I felt she let herself spill her emotions freely and it was at the very end of the book when she recounts being at a graveyard in Liberia. Aside from all of this, however, I really appreciated this author's story. She went through so many up and down moments in her life, and I admire her for paving her own way to get where she wanted to be, professionally. All she has been through is amazing and I feel fortunate to have known her story. This is why I am giving this book 3 stars and not any fewer.   
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Average: 3 (1 vote)