Friday, September 14, 2012

The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

Summary:  Josey Cirrini is sure of three things:  winter is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet.  For a while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night... Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis -- and two parts fairy godmother.  With Della Lee's tough love, Josey'snarrow existence quickly expands.  She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them -- and who has a close connection to Josey's long-time crush.  Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons.  And that's just for starters.

Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love -- and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.  (Summary from book - Image from barnesandnbole.com )

My Review:  In The Sugar Queen, Sarah Addison Allen weaves together the lives of fascinating characters in an an engaging tale of romance, mystery, and everyday magic.   Josey Cirrini is a virtual shut in, forced by a guilty conscience to stay home and care for her aging mother.  Her life is pretty dull, until, one day, she finds Della Lee Baker hiding in her closet.  This simple discovery sets in  motion a series of events and chance encounters that will change the lives of several townspeople, including Josey.  

I was hooked  by the end of the second page and head over heels for The Sugar Queen in a matter of chapters.   With a touch of romance, a touch of drama, and whimsy in all the right places, it reminded my of some of my favorite novels (Chocolate by Joanne Harris and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel).  Whether I was reading about a passion that could boil water, a family that could never break a promise, or a girl stalked by books, the story only got better the further I read and ended with a lovely twist that left me grinning with goosebumps.

The Sugar Queen isn't sickly sweet chick-lit.  It's chick lit to be sure, but it feels a bit deeper than that, and was far more entertaining. Entertainment Weekly said this book was "like a dessert" and I think that is a perfect description as long as you're thinking of a rich dark chocolate torte and not sticky cotton candy.  My kids seemed to sense that I was onto something good because they kept poking me while I was trying to read. Needless to say, they spent a lot of time playing in the backyard while I devoured page after page.   As soon as I get my bookshelves out of storage, this book will have a place on them.

My Rating: 4.25 Stars
For the sensitive reader:  Some profanity and a few brief sexual situations (some recollected, but mostly vague).

Sum it up:  A book that satisfied my craving for good, easy reading.

2 comments:

Bookshelf Butterfly said...

I loved this book! I find the characters very easy to care about. If you liked this you will like her others novels just as much!

Gretchen Buegge said...

This book was my introduction to this author and it was love at first sight - literally - with that cover and that title! I fell in love with the story and Adam. :) I've since read all of her books and am eagerly awaiting her newest!

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