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Zinovy Khokhlov
Zinovy Khokhlov

The Cost of Sugar: Cynthia McLeod's Bestselling Novel About Suriname in the 18th Century



<h1>Hoe duur was de suiker ebook: A Historical Novel About Suriname</h1>


<p>If you are interested in learning more about Suriname's history and culture, you might want to read <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> (<em>How Expensive Was The Sugar</em>), a historical novel by Cynthia McLeod. This book, which was first published in 1987 and later adapted into a film and a TV series, tells the story of a Jewish planters' family and their slaves in Suriname during the late 18th century. In this article, we will give you an overview of the book, its plot, themes, reception, and author.</p>




hoe duur was de suiker ebook


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<h2>The Plot of Hoe duur was de suiker ebook</h2>


<p>The novel is set in Suriname between 1765 and 1779, a period marked by the flourishing of the sugar industry and the Boni wars. The Boni wars were a series of conflicts between the maroons, escaped slaves who formed independent communities in the jungle, and the colonial authorities and planters who tried to suppress them.</p>


<p>The main characters of the novel are Elza and Sarith, two sisters from a wealthy Jewish planters' family who own a sugar plantation called Ma Retraite. Elza is kind-hearted and compassionate, while Sarith is spoiled and selfish. Their lives are intertwined with those of their slaves, especially Mini-Mini, Sarith's personal maid who is also her half-sister (their father is Nathan, Sarith's father and Elza's stepfather).</p>


<p>The novel follows the fortunes and misfortunes of these characters as they face various challenges and dilemmas in their personal and social lives. Elza falls in love with a young officer named Rutger le Chasseur, who is also involved in fighting against the maroons led by Boni. Sarith becomes obsessed with finding a rich husband who can satisfy her ambitions and desires. Mini-Mini struggles with her loyalty to Sarith and her longing for freedom.</p>


<p>the cultural diversity and richness of its people.</p>


<h3>The Themes of Hoe duur was de suiker ebook</h3>


<h4>Slavery</h4>


<p>One of the main themes of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> is slavery. The novel portrays the brutal realities of slavery in Suriname, such as physical abuse, sexual exploitation, forced labor, separation from family, lack of rights, and constant fear. The novel also shows how slavery affects both masters and slaves psychologically and morally.</p>


<p>For example, Sarith becomes crueler and more arrogant as she treats her slaves as objects rather than human beings. She abuses Mini-Mini physically and emotionally, even though they share the same father. She also sells some of her slaves without remorse when she needs money.</p>


<p>On the other hand, Mini-Mini develops a sense of self-worth and dignity as she learns to read and write from Elza. She also falls in love with a free black man named Alex who works as a carpenter on Ma Retraite. She dreams of escaping from Sarith's tyranny and living a free life with Alex.</p>


<h4>Sugar</h4>


<p>Another theme of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> is sugar. The novel depicts how sugar cultivation and trade shaped Suriname's economy and society in the 18th century. Sugar was a valuable commodity that brought wealth and power to some people but also misery and suffering to others.</p>


<p>For example, Nathan becomes one of the richest planters in Suriname thanks to his sugar plantation Ma Retraite. He enjoys a luxurious lifestyle with his family in Paramaribo, where he has a mansion full of fine furniture and art. He also has influence over other planters and colonial officials.</p>


<p>However, Nathan's wealth comes at a high cost for his slaves who work hard on his plantation under harsh conditions. They have to endure long hours of labor under the hot sun, cutting cane, boiling juice, refining sugar, etc. They also have to face diseases such as malaria or yellow fever that often kill them.</p>


<h4>Family</h4>


<p>and other factors. The novel shows how the members of a Jewish planters' family have different personalities, values, and goals that often clash with each other.</p>


<p>For example, Elza and Sarith have a strained relationship as sisters. Elza is more compassionate and empathetic towards her slaves and the maroons, while Sarith is more selfish and greedy. Elza also disapproves of Sarith's immoral behavior and choices, such as having affairs with married men or selling her own children.</p>


<p>Nathan and his wife Rebekka also have a complicated marriage. Nathan is unfaithful to Rebekka and has several children with his slaves, including Mini-Mini. Rebekka resents Nathan for his infidelity and neglect, but she also depends on him for her status and security.</p>


<h4>Rebellion</h4>


<p>A fourth theme of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> is rebellion. The novel depicts how the maroons, led by Boni, fought against the colonial authorities and planters who oppressed them. The novel also portrays how some slaves and free blacks joined or supported the maroon cause.</p>


<p>For example, Rutger le Chasseur is a young officer who is sent to Suriname to help quell the Boni wars. He falls in love with Elza and marries her, but he also sympathizes with the maroons and respects their leader Boni. He tries to negotiate a peace treaty between the two sides, but he faces opposition from both his superiors and his enemies.</p>


<p>Alex is a free black man who works as a carpenter on Ma Retraite. He is in love with Mini-Mini and wants to marry her, but he also wants to join the maroons and fight for their freedom. He convinces Mini-Mini to run away with him, but they are captured by Sarith's men and punished severely.</p>


<h4>Culture</h4>


<p>A fifth theme of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> is culture. The novel reflects the diversity and richness of Suriname's culture, language, and religion. The novel shows how different ethnic groups interacted and influenced each other in Suriname.</p>


<p>For example, the novel features characters from various backgrounds, such as Jews, Dutch, French, English, Portuguese, Africans, Indians, etc. The novel also uses words and expressions from different languages, such as Sranan (Surinamese), Hebrew, Yiddish, French, etc.</p>


<p>The novel also depicts how religion played a role in Suriname's society. The novel shows how some Jews practiced their faith in Suriname, such as celebrating Sabbath or Passover. The novel also shows how some slaves converted to Christianity or practiced their own African religions.</p>


<h4>The Reception of Hoe duur was de suiker ebook</h4>


<h5>Reviews</h5>


<p>and Dutch Literature. From 1969 to 1978 she taught Dutch Language and Literature in pre-university education in Paramaribo.</p>


<p>Her husband, Donald McLeod, was appointed in 1978 as Surinames Ambassador to Venezuela. Then he became Surinames Ambassador to Belgium and the United States of America. Abroad McLeod started writing and especially during her stay in Belgium she had the opportunity to do research in the archives of The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Emmerich, and Köln.</p>


<p>In 1986 the McLeods returned to Suriname and in 1987 her debut novel <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> was published by publisher Vaco in Paramaribo. The first print was sold out within a few weeks and Cynthia McLeod became the most famous Surinamese novelist overnight.</p>


<h6>Other Works</h6>


<p>After her successful debut novel, McLeod published several other historical novels and non-fiction books about Suriname's history and culture. Some of her other works include:</p>


<ul>


<li><em>Vaarwel Merodia</em> (1993), a historical novel about a fictional African kingdom that was colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century.</li>


<li><em>De vrije negerin Elisabeth</em> (2000), a biographical study of Elisabeth Samson, a free black woman who lived in Suriname in the 18th century and became one of the richest and most influential people in the colony.</li>


<li><em>Tweemaal Mariënburg</em> (2005), a historical novel about two generations of women who worked on the Mariënburg sugar plantation in Suriname in the 19th and 20th centuries.</li>


<li><em>Zeven maal zeven</em> (2011), a collection of short stories based on Surinamese legends and folklore.</li>


<li><em>De erfenis van de slavernij</em> (2013), a non-fiction book that examines the legacy and impact of slavery on Suriname's society and culture.</li>


</ul>


<h6>Influence</h6>


<p>McLeod's work has influenced Suriname's literature and history in many ways. She has popularized historical fiction as a genre and has inspired many other writers to explore Suriname's past. She has also contributed to the preservation and dissemination of Suriname's cultural heritage and identity. She has organized historical tours, lectures, exhibitions, and festivals to educate and entertain people about Suriname's history and culture.</p>


<h6>Conclusion</h6>


<p>In conclusion, <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> is a historical novel by Cynthia McLeod that tells the story of a Jewish planters' family and their slaves in Suriname during the late 18th century. The novel covers various themes such as slavery, sugar, family, rebellion, and culture. The novel received mixed reviews from critics and readers, but it was a bestseller in Suriname and the Netherlands. It was also adapted into a film and a TV series in 2013. The author of the novel is Cynthia McLeod, a famous Surinamese novelist who has written several other historical novels and non-fiction books about Suriname's history and culture. She has also influenced Suriname's literature and history with her work.</p>


<p>If you are interested in reading <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em>, you can buy it as an ebook from bol.com or Amazon.com. You can also watch the film or the TV series online or on DVD. You can also learn more about Cynthia McLeod and her other works on her website or on Goodreads.</p>


<p>I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em>, Cynthia McLeod, and Suriname's history and culture. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below.</p>


<h6>Frequently Asked Questions</h6>


<ul>


<li><strong>Q: What is the meaning of the title <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em>?</strong></li>


<li>A: The title <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> means <em>How Expensive Was The Sugar</em>. It refers to the high price that both masters and slaves had to pay for the sugar industry in Suriname. It also implies a moral question: Was it worth it?</li>


<li><strong>Q: What is the genre of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em>?</strong></li>


<li>A: <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> is a historical novel, which is a type of fiction that is based on historical facts and events. However, it also contains fictional elements such as characters, dialogue, or plot details that are invented by the author.</li>


<li><strong>Q: Who are the maroons and Boni?</strong></li>


<p>and fought against the colonial authorities and planters. Boni was one of the most famous and successful maroon leaders. He led several attacks on the plantations and defended his territory against the Dutch and French forces.</li>


<li><strong>Q: What is the difference between the film and the TV series adaptations of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em>?</strong></li>


<li>A: The film and the TV series adaptations of <em>Hoe duur was de suiker</em> have the same director, cast, and plot, but they have some differences in length, format, and details. The film is a two-hour movie that focuses on the main events and characters of the novel. The TV series is a four-part miniseries that expands on the film and adds more scenes and subplots that are not in the novel.</li>


<li><strong>Q: What are some other historical novels about Suriname that you recommend?</strong></li>


<li>A: Some other historical novels about Suriname that you might like are:</li>


<ul>


<li><em>The Free Negress Elisabeth</em> by Cynthia McLeod, a biographical novel about Elisabeth Samson, a free black woman who lived in Suriname in the 18th century and became one of the richest and most influential people in the colony.</li>


<li><em>The Cost of Living</em> by Arnon Grunberg, a satirical novel about a Dutch journalist who travels to Suriname in the 1990s to investigate a murder case and gets involved in a series of absurd and tragic events.</li>


<li><em>The House of the Spirits</em> by Isabel Allende, a magical realism novel that follows the lives of four generations of a family in Chile, but also has a connection to Suriname through one of the characters who is a maroon descendant.</li>


</ul>


</ul>


</p>


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