October 07, 2012

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

I just recently became acquainted with the books by Allen.  And just as recently became a fan.  Her first book, Garden Spells, I loved to pieces.  This one I liked nearly as well.  It's just as charming as the other, and has its own magical elements.

Josey is somewhat of a recluse.  As a rather temperamental child, she mellowed into an adult woman who is run by the whims of her bother.  Her only solace is the hidden closet of sweets that she has, and the travel magazines to accompany them.  With no friends, her daily thing to look forward to is a visit from the mailman who she is attracted to.  But then, one morning she wakes up to a visitor inside her closet; an older woman who's on the run from a boyfriend, and since she knows secrets Josey doesn't want to divulge, Josey lets her stay.  Della makes her get out and meet new people too, and with that comes some emotions and experiences Josey has never had before.

Josey is an ok character.  She seems very real with her flaws and wants for sweets.  Her mother completely domineers her, and it makes you want to shout at her sometimes, but this whole novel is about her growth, so at least it seems authentic.  Her love interest, the mailman Adam, was nice enough, but I didn't really understand him or his motivations.  And the other side characters all had their own quirks.  The only one I didn't really like was Josey's mother; I just thought she was a deplorable person without any redeeming qualities.  At least Josey had the maid I suppose.  Chloe, kind of the almost other main character in this book had some unique qualities too that I appreciated, especially since her's involved books.

The plot was fairly predictable, but it was still so nice that you couldn't help but forgive its predictability.  I liked the descriptions of the sweets Josey craved and the sandwiches her friend made.  The sandwiches most of all; give me one of those over a piece of chocolate anyday.  There was a lot of drama in this book and sometimes it moved a little too fast for me to keep up.  But by the end everything was sorted in my head and it did have a nice twist I was expecting.  Unlike the other book of Allen's there wasn't any descriptive love scenes or a great deal of violence.  Little things were mentioned but never brought forth in any detail.  It should be mentioned, that in the particular edition I read, there were some deleted scenes that the author kept out of the book.  They were interesting, but I am glad they weren't in the main story itself.

A very nice book.  I will definitely keep reading any book Allen puts out.  I know they're all bound to be quite magical.

The Sugar Queen
Copyright 2008
294 pages

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