Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The House at Sugar Beach

The House at Sugar Beach  By Helene Cooper.   Helene grew up in Liberia, Africa. Her family are descendants of Free black Americans that came to Liberia in the 1820's to start a new American colony apart from the horrendous slave trade that was still a strong force. Her family and others like them were known as Congo and the native Liberians were called Country. The Congo became the elite. They were educated and continued to prosper for over 150 years. Helene went to a private American school and lived in a mansion on the beach, Sugar Beach. She has an adopted sister Eunice, brought into the family to keep her company and another younger sister, Marlene. Her life seems idyllic as a child rarely sees the politics surrounding their little world. In 1980 it begins to fall apart. She is 14 years old, just becoming a woman. The Country people rebel and take over the government, raping, executing and looting Monrovia. Helene's family is lucky enough to escape and travel to America. Sadly, Eunice is left behind. For no reason other than that is what people did. She went back to her village. 23 years later, Helene as a successful reporter returns to Liberia for the first time, to find her childhood and the memories she has tried so hard to leave behind. This memoir is written from the heart, it is truthful, painful, happy and sad. Ms. Cooper shares her life with the reader and gives us a moment to appreciate the land we are born to and family we have.

1 comment:

  1. An excellent memoir. The author shares her life adventures from Liberia to America. It certainly reminds us of the good life we have in America.
    I recommend it highly.