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The Sugar ueen My lovely book gifting mother gave me a nice healthy stack of books for Christmas and among them was THE SUGAR UEEN I read and loved Sarah Addison Allen's first novel Garden Spells last year on the recommendation of my good friend Michelle Incidentally I actually gave my mom Garden Spells for Christmas so there was some fun karmic reciprocity goin' on there Garden Spells was the perfect autumn read and I finished it itching to get my hands on Allen's second book which as it turns out is the perfect winter read I love it when my book and the season serendipitously mesh Set in a small ski resort town in North Carolina with magical snowflakes falling and the smell of peppermint in the air I had no interest in resisting its spell I just sat back and let THE SUGAR UEEN carry me away for a couple of wintry nightsJosey Cirrini loves candy And I mean Josey LOVES candy Sweets snacks baked goods of any kind She keeps them in a stash in her closet and retreats there whenever she's feeling particularly anxious or down Which is pretty much every day several times a day You see Josey lives alone with her aging patrician mother in their aging empty mansion And every day her mother reminds her how plain she is how she should never wear anything but black or white but for the love of all that is holy no RED and how she was such a trying child and should spend the rest of her life making it up to her poor beautiful widowed mother Gah The only bright spot in her day is the moment when their mailman Adam walks up to her door to deliver the mail Then there's Chloe Lovely orphaned loves to read lost in love Chloe She runs a small fast food stand in the local city courthouse lobby lives with her lawyer boyfriend Jake and dreams of owning her own home one day after having had to sell the only home she'd ever known when her grandparents passed away Neither of these girls sees her life changing anytime soon But on one fateful day a local tramp shows up in Josey's closet and Chloe discovers her boyfriend cheated on her but won't tell her with whom And just like that everything changesLike its predecessor THE SUGAR UEEN is one part magical realism one part fairy tale and one part contemporary fiction And like before I fell immediately under its spell 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 Possibly even than Garden Spells I think because I liked Josey so much With her unselfconscious awesomeness her straightforward goodness she was vulnerable but never beaten The slow pleasantly deceit free way she and Adam negotiated their relationship was delightful to me And Josey and Chloe's friendship in particular was extremely well done I love how helping and being needed by Chloe makes Josey brave How Chloe recognized Josey for what she was and took her in even when she was the one who was slowly but surely drowning In a Sarah Addison Allen book you can always count on a little organic magic and my favorite instance of this in THE SUGAR UEEN was undoubtedly the way books literally popped up around Chloe whenever she needed them For example She could remember very clearly the first time it happened to her Being an only child raised by her great grandparents on a farm miles from town she was bored a lot When she ran out of books to read it only got worse She was walking by the creek along the wood line at the end of the property one day when she was twelve feeling mopey and frustrated when she saw a book propped up against a willow tree She walked over and picked it up It was so new the spine creaked and popped when she opened it It was a book on card tricks full of fun things she could do with the deck of cards her great grandmother kept in a drawer in the kitchen for her weekly canasta game She called out asking if anyone was there No one answered She didn't see any harm in looking through the book so she sat under the tree by the creek and read as much as she could before it got dark She wanted to take it with her when her great grandmother called her home but she knew she couldn't The owner of the book would surely want it back So she reluctantly left it by the tree and ran home trying to commit to memory everything she'd read After dinner Chloe took the deck of cards out of the kitchen drawer and went to her bedroom to try some of the tricks She tried for awhile but she couldn't get them right without following the pictures in the book She sighed and gathered the cards she'd spread out on the floor She stood and that's when she saw the book the same book she'd left by the creek on her nightstand For awhile after that she thought her great grandparents were surprising her with books She'd find them on her bed in her closet in her favorite hideouts around the property And they were always books she needed Books on games or novels of adventure when she was bored Books about growing up as she got older But when her great grandparents confronted her about all the books she had and where did she get the money to buy them she realized they weren't the ones doing it The next day under her pillow she found a book on clever storage solutions It was exactly what she needed something to show her how to hide her books She accepted it from then on Books liked her Books wanted to look after herYou can imagine the smile of contentment on my face after I read that passage It was clear this book and I would get on well And we did I absolutely loved it And you can bet I will be picking up Ms Allen's upcoming third novel The Girl Who Chased the Moon the day it comes out 35 I thought this book was a cute easy read especially for the winter holidays Her writing reminds me of Hoffman A story filled with magic and romance and sadness I like that her characters are in a tough spot but they persevere to come out better people This book ended with a surprise ending kinda creepy for the superstitious in us all 375 starsI loved Garden Spells so I decided to give another of Sarah Addison Allen’s books a go There’s the same lush storytelling with hints of magic that are just subtle enough to be believable The Sugar ueen touches on many fairy tale elements while staying grounded in reality Please note this is not a fairy tale retelling it just has some faint yet recognizable allusionsview spoilerWhat didn’t work for me was the whole ghost story element And the “hey we’re all sisters” thing was a bit too convenient and twee for me hide spoiler While this is a good read its storyline is too pat its conclusion to easy and its writing too forgettable to earn than three stars Would I read it again? Probably not Would I want to reread parts of it years from now? Possibly Would I read a seuel? uite probably You can draw your own conclusions from that Our heroine struggles with self perception and a lack of self esteem Josey is supposed to be a Southern belleliving in a ski resort town in the mountains of North Carolina She suffers from a domineering mother who for personal reasons really doesn't like her an unbelievable amount of guilt for tantrums thrown before she became a saint at the ripe old age of nine a town of busybodies who all remember the tantrums perhaps I should have reserved unbelievable for this portion of the plot and isolation resulting from all of the above The point of The Sugar ueen is how Josey resolves all of these issues with the help of her polar opposite who shows up unexpectedly in her closet at the beginning of chapter 1 At the same time various other people affiliated in some way with Josey or her family are going through their own somehow completely related problems The book also contains a smattering of magic which seems to have been included for no other reason than to help the reader suspend disbelief throughout a string of improbable events Once you've suspended disbelief it is possible to enjoy the book in all of it's feel good splendor At it's heart that's all this book is a feel good novel A sad woman and we know she's sad because at least four different people show up to say so and then disappear from the plot finds happiness and love a true love is saved family problems are resolved and death is established as an okay placeIf you have some extra time like feel good novels and I personally do and desire to learn a little about self perception and a lot about why to not live your entire life in the same small town you should give this book a chance Have you ever finished a whole plate of chocolate cake while binge watching Revenge to fill the emptiness of your nights? If you have then this book is for youHave you ever broken down because you didn't know how to function alone any? If you have then this book is for youHave you ever suatted in a stranger's closet? If you have then this book is for youThis is not my usual fare but I was in the mood for something light fluffy and sweet like Meringue I didn't get the Meringue but I got The Sugar ueen and it just hit my sweet spot The Sugar ueen is about three women from a resort town going through a uarter life crisis uarter life crisis is real They unexpectedly find each other and themselves in the process I liked the characters in this book they feel authentic especially Josey She's a shy twenty seven year old woman who lives as her mother's PA She dreams of travelling but her perceived obligations to her mother hold her back so she gorges on clandestine sweets and pastries for comfort until she finds Della Lee Della Lee and Chloe were colorfully written as well but Josey is the star Overall The Sugar ueen is a pleasant read a good relaxing option while in between reading intricate novels This is my first book from the author and it certainly won't be the last Wow Another magical novel by Sarah Addison Allen Beautifully written Much like her debut novel Garden Spells this book contains a blend of interesting food and magic realism Josey Cirrini is a chubby shy recluse who lives with her overbearing mother She consoles herself with junk food and romance novels that she keeps hidden in her closet One day her boring life is turned upside down when she discovers local bad girl Della Lee hiding in her closet Desperate to be rid of Della Lee Josey makes certain promises that lead her on a journey to self discovery An unexpected romance with the mailman a new friendship and answers to uestions about her past followI cannot say enough how much I enjoy this author's uniue writing style Each chapter is cleverly named after Josey's favorite sweets and reflects on the various plot themes Just check out this uote 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 books 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 courseNow who here on Goodreads can't identify with that?Highly recommended In this irresistible novel Sarah Addison Allen author of the New York Times bestselling debut Garden Spells tells the tale of a young woman whose family secrets—and secret passions—are about to change her life foreverJosey 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 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’s narrow existence uickly 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 longtime 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 startersBrimming with warmth wit and a sprinkling of magic here is a spellbinding tale of friendship love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day This is my third book of this author It's chick lit with a mystery thrown in Many love interests some romantic and others scandalous; a little bit of magic; and a few secrets to dolly things up Southern snobishness with old family histories and a good plot A chicken for the soul read for those who need something light and entertaining And I enjoyed the late and great Marco Cirrini the old goat He made sure he owned than just the town At least he brought some color into the tale Yes he knew how to paint the town of Bald Slopes RED When money talk secrets walkI needed this palate cleanser Oh and I really appreciate this author's original titles Always good The Sugar ueenBy way of confession I have been Vanuished by a romance book BUT it was a magical one with an interesting story line That counts right? The book sought me out not the other way around This was in a pile of books by my mother’s bed that after her passing I threw in a box for stronger times It’s been four years and I’m just now getting the resolve to sort that container outMore than anything I loved the books that communicated with and put themselves in the way of a supporting character in the story Chloe The books send her messages encouragements and warnings by placing themselves where she is when she needs the message of their book title I loved this – so often things books and other items send me feedback and messages on actions I’m taking in my daily life and through which I assignfind meaning I looked to see if there were any other of this author’s books that might have carried on this whimsical course for Chloe but not yetNot yet Hint hint Ms Sarah Addison Allen More about Chloe and the books please You know how when you are not feeling well you are told to each chicken soup? Well this is my chicken soup I love reading books by Sarah Addison Allen they are comforting and in an odd way familiar Yes its not as good as Garden Spells but this one is different Allen's books have magical realism southern traditions uirky characterswhat's not to love This book tells the story of lonely isolated Josey and the other people who come into her life from town and how she changes over time I thoroughly enjoyed this one and look forward to reading books by Allen

  • Hardcover
  • 276 pages
  • The Sugar ueen
  • Sarah Addison Allen
  • English
  • 10 August 2015
  • 9780553805499

About the Author: Sarah Addison Allen

New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction a captivating blend of magical realism heartwarming romance and small town sensibilityBorn and raised in Asheville North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food she credits her journa