Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Sugar Queen

Josey Cirrini may be the daughter of the most respected man in her town, a wealthy girl brought up in an elaborate mansion with a live-in maid, but she lives a drab, isolated, uninspired life.  Her bitter, domineering mother has Josey driving her around, running errands, and rarely socializing with anyone. 

Josey has two sources of joy in her life.  One is the handsome mailman who comes up her walk every day (although he has no idea of her feelings for him).  The other is is the secret closet in her bedroom, a closet full of every kind of candy imaginable.  Josey loves candy, adores it with all the passion missing in the rest of her life.  When she opens her closet one day and finds Della Lee, a woman she barely knows, hiding there, Josey's life gets turned upside down.

Della Lee, Josey discovers, is not an easy person to have hiding in one's closet, refusing to leave, threatening to spill her candy-stash secrets if Josey rats her out.  But because of Della's presence in her life, Josey finds herself becoming friends with Chloe, another young woman whose life has taken an unexpected turn.  Chloe has an unusual affinity for books, which was one of my favorite elements of this enchanting novel.

I read Sarah Addison Allen's first book, Garden Spells, last winter, and I enjoyed it so much that I have since recommended it to many people - and every one of them has loved it, even though they typically read vastly different kinds of books.  It took me a while to work up to this one, because even though I'd heard such good things about it, I was a little afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations.  But I'm please to report there was no disappointment whatsoever.  Once again Allen tells a riveting story, full of engaging, fascinating characters, humor, romance, mystery, and more than a touch of magic.  I am very much looking forward to reading her third novel, and I feel confident that I will love that one as well.

The Suger Queen by Sarah Addison Allen; narrated by Karen White (Books on Tape, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Angieville"I don't know if I was just in the mood for something pretty and sweet and romantic in the dead of winter, or if there's something about Allen's kind, honest characters that speaks to me, but I absolutely loved this book."
Book Girl's BookNook"I love the way that Allen writes, and I savored every word of this novel.
"Library Love"I loved this book. It is, undoubtedly, a huge piece of chick lit, but that's okay. It was great."


  1. I love Sarah Addison Allen's books. Such comfortable, charming and fun reads.

  2. Marg - I totally agree. I almost hesitate to read the next one right away - I think I will save it for when I need an engrossing comfort read!

  3. Sounds intriguing--I'll have to read it (even though it will make me wish I had a closet full of candy)!

  4. Willow - Yes, and every chapter is named for a specific type of candy, which somehow ties in neatly with the chapter it's named for. It's fun and clever!


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