I had heard about Sarah Addison Allen from many friends and fellow bloggers, but I hadn't yet taken the plunge - until it was my turn to choose my book club's pick for the month. My book club. Well, let's just say many of us are having some tough times. I didn't want to choose a book that was too serious or depressing. I wanted something light and enjoyable, but GOOD, you know? Not just mindless fluff...I needed GOOD fluff. The Sugar Queen was perfect!
With a small cast of characters, The Sugar Queen centers on the story of Josey Cirrini, a 27 year old woman living with her mother in Bald Slope, North Carolina, a town brought to prosperity by her late father, Marco. Josey lives to serve her aging mother, until she stumbles upon a new friend, Della Lee, a woman escaping from an abusive relationship and finds refuge in Josey's bedroom closet. Through encouragement from Della Lee, Josie finds another new friend in Chloe Finley, who is going through a tumultuous time in her own relationship with Jake Yardley.
I loved these characters! I wrote this review several times, and the first time I went in depth into what I loved about Josey, Chloe, Adam, Jake, Della Lee and even Helena, the maid. I couldn't talk about any of them too much without giving away key pieces of this story, though. There are such wonderful little surprises throughout this book, and I would be ruining the story for all of you if I talked about any of them.
I will share one of my favorite lines. You know I'm a sucker for quotes regarding books, bookstores and reading:
"Books can be possessive, can't they? You're walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what's inside will change your life, but sometimes you don't even have to read it. Sometimes it's a comfort just to have a book around. Many of these books haven't even had their spines cracked. 'Why do you buy gooks you don't even read?' our daughter asks us. That's like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course." = George and Zelda
I think the bottom line is this: if you're looking for a fun, magical read this summer, pick up The Sugar Queen. It was my first Allen book, but I can promise you it won't be my last (I have The Girl Who Chased the Moon on hold at the library!).
Visit the Author's Website: Sarah Addison Allen
About the Book:
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Hardcover: 288 pages (paperback edition available)
Publisher: Bantam (May 20, 2008)
About the Author:
Sarah Addison Allen is the author of Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.