Model T’s, Liquor, Family, Tommy Guns, Rum Running, Family and Pierogies.

Joe, a young  boy growing up in Detroit in the early 1900’s must learn to navigate between his family’s strong Polish traditions and the electric atmosphere of America’s fastest growing city.

The aroma of stewed cabbage and spiced incense mix with the exhaust fumes of brand new Model T’s as he explores the sights and sounds of the great city.

In the safe arms of his loving family, Joe’s childhood days are filled with exhilarating sights,  formidable nuns, baseball and delicious Polish foods – until a sudden illness and heart wrenching death force him to grow up much too soon.

On a small quiet island, south of Detroit, Joe runs liquor up and down the river to support his family and meets Cappie, the man who will become his partner, mentor, friend and ultimately, family.

Together they race through the “Prohibition Era of the Roaring Twenties” in fast boats and faster cars, trying to avoid the law and rival gangsters while striving to satisfy the murderous leaders of the Sugar House Gang.

   As the gangsters expanding power acquires a stronghold over the city, they come to be known as the notorious Purple Gang as Joe struggles with himself to balance his beliefs and his desires as Detroit becomes the most violently corrupt city in the country.

A gripping historical fiction that will transport the reader to a time when the country and its citizens were shaking off the rigid rules of adolescence and throwing on their party clothes.

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Jean,

    I enjoyed reading your novel and especially enjoyed the local setting. It is obvious you have done a lot of research about the Detroit and Downriver period of 1915 and into the 1930’s.

    Wallace Hayden
    Bacon Library, Wyandotte

  2. Hi Jean. I just finished reading The Sugar House and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the story and learning more about Detroit’s history. I teach eighth-grade American history and plan to share your book as a realoud with my reading class. Would you consider coming to speak to students about the book (story/Detroit history) and the writing process?

    • Hello Cindy,

      Thank you for contacting me. I would love to speak to your class about Detroit History. It’s really part of the reason I wrote The Sugar House. Where is your school located?


  3. I just purchased “Sugar House” from the GI historical Customs House gift store. I am anxious to read it and, pass it on. Did you, by any chance, spend part of your youth on GI on Bournemouth? Your grandpa’s last name is familiar. If so, you played with our sons. Hope it’s you.

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