The Sugar Master

Original Title: El maestro de azúcar

Publication: 2024

Author: Mayte Uceda

Northern Spain, 1895.

Two women leave their peaceful town of Colombres in the region of Asturias to travel to the distant island of Cuba. Their reasons for travelling could not be more different: Mar, the daughter of the town’s doctor, undertakes the journey to follow her father, who has been selected to run a medical practice on a Cuban hacienda that functions as a sugar plantation called Dos Hermanos; Paulina, a very young widow who comes from humble origins, is forced to embark on a journey to marry a prestigious sugar master, a man she has never met. Mar dreams of being a doctor while Paulina wonders if she will lead a happy life alongside her imminent husband because she can’t help but constantly compare him to her late husband. Mar is focused on her work as a nurse alongside her father, but she soon begins to take a liking to the master, an intelligent person whom she like to engage in conversation with…

This is the story of two young women united by the same fate, anchored by love and loyalty to their families, against the backdrop of an exotic island that hides ancient hostility and revenge beneath its shadows. The novel explores both sides of the sugar plantation, which is a pleasant place for some workers but injustices are everywhere, especially for the African and Asian indentured servants who are constantly being abused by their masters, despite working from sunrise to sunset. The Cuban War of Independence, known in Cuba as The Necessary War, is brewing, and it will soon give Cuba its much sought-after independence.

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Original Language

SPANISH (World) | Planeta

Translation Rights

FRENCH | Hauteville/Bragelonne

Reviews

"After the success of The Guardian of the Tide, Mayte Uceda returns with a great colonial novel that portrays the struggle against injustice, the limits of evil and the power of love." Briseida Zenobia, Todoliteratura

“Very well written, this novel which constantly defends women’s rights, equality, and freedom deserves all the success it will have.“ José Luis Melero, Heraldo de Aragón

"Mayte Uceda writes well and with a clearly feminist perspective to get readers immersed in her story. With exquisite craft, she has immersed herself through research in this key period in the history of Cuba and Spain." Ahora Qué Leo, La Sexta

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