ABOUT THE BOOK:
The year is 1859. Beautiful English actress Emily Harris is the darling of theatrical circles the world over. While performing on the east coast of US, she is courted by Charles Brook, a handsome and wealthy American. Following a whirlwind romance, they marry and return to his family home in Georgia.
On arriving, Emily discovers that Charles has been keeping a secret from her – he is a slave-owner. On the surface, Emily appears to reconcile herself to his way of life. In fact, she finds herself irrevocably caught up in the lives of the slaves. Her instinct is to befriend and help them, which causes untold problems not only with her husband, but also his family and friends.
As civil war breaks out, Emily's relationship with the slaves on the plantation threatens to cost her everything that she holds dear ...
:: If you want to have a little taster of the book, you can download the introduction and first chapter here for free:
For information on how to download Acrobat Reader for PDF files visit the BBC Webwise site.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sanjida O'Connell is a TV presenter and producer. She is the author of six previous books. 'Sugar Island' is her third novel. She has also written three works of non-fiction, including 'Sugar: The Grass That Changed The World'.
Sanjida came into Drivetime on Monday 21 February to talk to Simon about her book.
>> Listen to Simon's interview with Sanjida
Those who were reading 'Sugar Island' along with the Book Club chatted to other readers on this page during Simon's interview. Sanjida then answered questions LIVE on this page directly from listeners. To replay the live web chat with Sanjida click the "Play" button in the box on the right of this page.