Shaking the Sugar Tree (Sugar Tree, #1)

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Title: Shaking the Sugar Tree (Sugar Tree, #1)
Author: Nick Wilgus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 3, 2014
Genre(s): Family/MM Romance/Disability/Gay parents
Page Count: 304
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Wise-cracking Wiley Cantrell is loud and roaringly outrageous—and he needs to be to keep his deeply religious neighbors and family in the Deep South at bay. A failed writer on food stamps, Wiley works a minimum wage job and barely manages to keep himself and his deaf son, Noah, more than a stone’s throw away from Dumpster-diving.

Noah was a meth baby and has the birth defects to prove it. He sees how lonely his father is and tries to help him find a boyfriend while Wiley struggles to help Noah have a relationship with his incarcerated mother, who believes the best way to feed a child is with a slingshot. No wonder Noah becomes Wiley’s biggest supporter when Boston nurse Jackson Ledbetter walks past Wiley’s cash register and sets his sugar tree on fire.

Jackson falls like a wet mule wearing concrete boots for Wiley’s sense of humor. And while Wiley represents much of the best of the South, Jackson is hiding a secret that could threaten this new family in the making.

When North meets South, the cultural misunderstandings are many, but so are the laughs, and the tears, but, as they say down in Dixie, it’s all good.


This book made me laugh, made me cry, made me laugh, made me cry, made me think and made me very happy.

Not just simply HAPPY.

And a bit sad too.

It is not your usual MM-romance.
It is not overloaded with testosterone as a lot of MM-books.
There are so many heart in every line!
There are so many truth in every sentence!

Who has to read it in the first place:

Every single STRAIGHT/GAY father.

Every single mother.

All parents, straight or not.

People with heart.

People without. There is a big hope they’ll get it back.

All good politicians who help to become gay marriage legal in every country and in every state.

Everybody who considers gay marriage is not a human right. There is a big hope you can change your opinion.

No, it is not a political book. Don’t get me wrong.

It is a beautifully written story- I’m strongly believe that this book is very autobiographical– about a single father Wiley Cantrell who lives in Tupelo, Mississippi with his 10 years old son Noah,a meth baby with the birth defects(how can somebody not fall in love with this kid?!), has a difficult relationship with his religious family, except his crazy grandfather Papaw(he is hilarious!) and goes through ups and downs with his boyfriend Jackson Ledbetter.

It is about life and about love.

Excellent told, from my favourite first person POV, in the form of a diary.

It was a love story about a father and a son. The rest was window dressing. As a love story between a parent and a child, it was universal. Didn’t matter that I was gay, that he was deaf, that we didn’t fit in, that we were each outcasts in our own way. God, fate, the universe, luck – we had been thrown together in this thing we call life for a reason we might never be able to fathom.

Sweet, charming, witty and heart-wrenching piece of prose!


Sugar Tree Series

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