Book Review: The Sugar Men

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Book Title: The Sugar Men

Author: Ray Kingfisher

Genre: Fiction – Historical

Rating (out of 5 stars): StarStarStarStarStar

First, let me be perfectly honest.

Normally I don’t like and won’t read books about World War II. But I downloaded this free book off of Kindle without looking at what I was getting. Without much thought I opened this book one evening and began to read.  I am so glad I did or I would have lost out on a most significant piece of work.  Ray Kingfisher let me get fully engrossed in the book before I ever realized it had a WWII theme. And by that time, I was so deeply involved in the story that I could not put it down.  To me, this is a mark of a truly well written book.

The Sugar Men is absolutely captivating.

Susannah was nearing death from cancer, and knew she had only months to live. Against the will of her adult children, she made a necessary excursion back to the site of a Nazi concentration camp where she had been prisoner decades ago. The author takes us on a well-choreographed story of this final excursion mixed with the memories of a horrific childhood. Suzannah’s childhood journey took her Jewish family from an apartment in Berlin, through Amsterdam, to Bergen-Belsen.

Kingfisher’s descriptions of the people in the girl’s life and the atrocities that befell them were vivid and often excruciating. It was almost a relief whenever the author transitioned from the 1940’s back to the present, allowing a break from the horrors of Suzannah’s life in the concentration camp. Yet once back to the present, I was so compelled to jump back to the 1940s to learn more of her struggle to live. I applaud, and thank, Mr. Kingfisher’s ability to provide brief present day respites in the midst of an extremely graphic view into the past.


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