Book: Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire

Author: Andrea Stuart

Review by: David Cutting, retired international banking executive and honorary consul of Barbados in Georgia 

David Cutting

This summer I completed my reading of this excellent pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history of Barbados. It was written in the context of the origins and the development of the Sugar industry in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. I was impressed with how thoroughly the author researched her ancestry, which enabled me to have a vicarious experience. My paternal ancestry is linked to Hanson Plantation in Barbados.

My father’s family, the Cuttings, grew up in the environs of this plantation and it is my understanding that my paternal great-grandmother Maude Cutting was among the last family members to work there in post-emancipation era. The records indicate that she was a laborer.

Andrea Stuart has a wonderfully intoxicating style of writing which keeps you riveted and anxious to turn the page. Her family story has clearly been professionally researched, but beyond that, the book should be of interest to those who are curious about the simultaneously exotic and tragic history of the Caribbean and the extent to which these small island states have evolved after hundreds of years of slavery and indentured labor.

Editor’s notes: Global Atlanta will receive a commission on any purchase of this book through the links on this page.

Each year, Global Atlanta asks influential readers and community leaders to review the most impactful book they read during the course of the year. This endeavor has continued annually since 2010. 

See last year’s full list of books on here, and all 2020 reader picks here. 

All books were chosen and reviews written independently, with only mild editing from our staff.