The Differences Between The Queen Sugar TV Series And The Novel

When Queen Sugar debuted on OWN in 2016, viewers instantly fell in love with the Bordelon family. For the last five years, people have watched the family go through lots of ups and downs, but no matter what happens, they always have each other’s backs. The series itself has all of the elements of a great story, and that’s because it was actually inspired by one. Despite Queen Sugar’s popularity, there are some fans who don’t know that the show is actually based on a novel. However, as with other books that have been adapted for the screen quite a few changes have been made.  Keep reading to learn about the difference between Queen Sugar the TV series and the novel it’s based on.

Micah Is Male In The TV Series

If you’ve ever seen the show Queen Sugar, then you’re probably pretty familiar with Charley’s son, Micah Bordelon (Nicholas Ashe). You may be surprised to learn that Micah is a teenage girl in the novel. In fact, Charley and Micah’s mother/daughter relationship is a very important part of the book. It’s unclear why Ava Duvernay decided to make this change.

Nova Does Not Exist In The Book

Nova Bordelon (Rutina Wesley) is one of the most important characters in the TV series, but she’s nowhere to be found in the book. In the novel, Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) are the only Bordelon children. While this may have worked in the book, it’s impossible to imagine the show without Nova. Since she doesn’t exist in the book, neither do any of the love interests she’s had on the show.

Charley Inherits The Farm In The Book

In the TV series, when Ernest dies, he leaves his farm to Ralph Angel. Being the new owner of the farm has been central to Ralph Angel’s storyline throughout the show. However, that’s not how things went down at all in the book. In the novel, Ernest actually leaves the farm to Charley. This causes tension between her and Ralph Angel because he was hoping the land would be left to him.

Charley Is A Widow In The Book

One of the most memorable scenes from season one of Queen Sugar is the moment Charley finds out that her professional basketball-playing husband, Davis West, is cheating on her. In a rage, Charley storms onto the court in the middle of a game and confronts him. This, however, doesn’t even come close to happening in the novel. That’s because Charley is actually a widow in the book. Davis, who wasn’t a professional athlete, was killed and never actually appears in the story. Additionally, Charley is not well-off in the book.

Darla Isn’t Present In The Book

In the show, Darla’s (Bianca Lawson) character is one of the most interesting. Although she comes from a very privileged background, her battle with addiction has caused her to struggle in life. It has also put a strain on her relationship with her parents. However, her love for her son serves as inspiration for her to make better choices. In the book, however, this character is never actually present. While it’s acknowledged that Ralph Angel had a relationship with his son’s mother, it is noted that she passed away from a drug overdose.

Vi And Hollywood’s Relationship Doesn’t Exist In The Book

Most people who have seen the show would probably agree that Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) and Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) are relationship goals. In the novel, though, they aren’t a couple. Aunt Vi, who has a completely different personality, is married to someone else. Hollywood is a poor white man who is somewhat of a peripheral character for most of the book.

Ralph Angel Is Less Likeable In The Book

Ralph Angel is a very complex character. He’s made some mistakes in his past, but he is dedicated to turning his life around and providing a better future for his wife and his son. The show does a great job of showing multiple sides of Ralph Angel which has resulted in him becoming a fan favorite. This is a drastic change from the book where Ralph Angel is a sullen character whose redeeming qualities aren’t mentioned. On top of that, he doesn’t have the best relationship with his family in the book which isn’t true in the show.

Remy Is White In The Book

Remy Newell appeared in the first four seasons of the TV series and had a brief relationship with Charley. The show depicts him as a local Black farmer who is trying to help her save her mill. In the book, Remy is actually a white man although he and Charley do still have a relationship.


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