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  • Location: Venezuela

Black Sugar

Black Sugar

Why a Booktrail?

1800s: A fascinating story of a family’s fortunes and Venezuela’s development over the course of the 20th century.

  • ISBN: 978-1910477526
  • Translator: Emily Boyce
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

On the edge of the Latin American rainforest, the Oteros family farm sugar cane in their remote corner of the earth. Cut off entirely from the modern world, life is peaceful, uneventful. Until, that is, a succession of ships arrive in search of Henry Morgan’s legendary lost treasure, said to be buried deep beneath the forest floor.

Soon, the isolated villagers are exposed to all the trappings of modernity, while the travellers’ search for booty unearths more than anybody could have anticipated…

Travel Guide

Venezuela and Rum

And so it was that the treasure lay buried amid scraps of sail and a pirate’s corpse, preserved within the belly of the Caribbean…treasure, said to be buried deep beneath the forest floor.

This is a novel of pirates and treasure and that moment when villagers and travellers search yet find something quite unexpected.

It’s a story of rum, the taste of Venezuela and Latin Aerica in more ways than one. The author has spoken of his fascination with cane-based alcohol and was lucky enough to visit a plantation/distillery Santa Teresa and saw how the making of this drink is almost like poetry in motion. It’s change in colour, texture, taste and the process it goes through to become rum which  captivate the author as well as the great man himself whose role in the novel is very significant!

Captain Morgan is a brand of rum produced by alcohol conglomerate Diageo. It is named after the 17th-century Welsh privateer of the Caribbean, Sir Henry Morgan who died on 25 August 1688. Since 2011, the label has used the slogan “To Life, Love and Loot.”

This is a  novel of pirates, of run, tastes of a people cut off from the rest of the world it would seem. But it;s the sprit of this land, its people which the novel truly captures and not just in a bottle!

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

A swashbuckling read of rum and greed

The seas at one point were a source of danger – where pirates roamed and controlled the waters and woe betide anyone who tried to get in their way. Captain Henry Morgan might be more famously known for his name on a rum bottle than for his pirate past, but his role in the novel merges two facets of history that’s fascinating and intoxicating at the same time.

There’s lots to this novel despite it being short – a bit like the famous plank! – I would have liked a lot more of this novel as it felt more of a taster if you pardon the pun than a fully fledged novel. But then pirates are known for their quick work, so maybe that’s quite fitting.

It’s very evocative of the adventures at sea – mutiny, storms and a captain obsessed with what he’s got on board. They drink, they eat ( don’t ever have a barbecue with a pirate is all I’m saying) The treasure on board ends up buried somewhere in the forests of Venezuela and that’s where the rest of the story takes us.

‘The treasure lay buried amid scraps of soil and a pirate’s corpse, preserved within the belly of the Caribbean’

The Otero family live in a world of rum, bananas and sugar cane. They become obsessed with a stranger who seems to know the location of some hidden treasure

They taste the excitement and decide to join him in the search and it’s at this point things got very interesting indeed.

But it could have been even more impressive with more detail, more lovely prose and a book to really sink into. This was a fleeting visit but Shiver me timber a good one. Sorry I’m all out of pirate analogies now. Black Sugar is recommended by me!

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Black Sugar

Destination : Venezuela  Author/Guide: Miguel Bonnefoy  Departure Time: 1800s

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