Book Review: The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
I’ve been a bad blogger lately and I’d like to thank everyone for coming to my blog and commenting even though I didn’t have any new reviews up. It was all just memes and readathon posts. I’ve been lazy. But now I’ve finally gotten off my butt and written a review for my latest read. So I am pleased to give you The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, one of my favorite authors. It’s always a pleasure to read her books.
The people of Bald Slope, North Carolina have a lot of secrets. Josey Cirrini has a closet full of sweets and an unwanted visitor. She’s also spent her adult life trying to make-up for being a horrible child to her mother. Della Lee is hiding from a lifetime of mistakes. Books come to Chloe Finley whether she wants them to or not. These three women couldn’t be more different from each other but they all have one thing in common that will change their lives forever. All it takes is a little courage to let go of the past and step out into the future.
I adore Sarah Addison Allen. I loved her Garden Spells. So it is no surprise to me that I loved The Sugar Queen just as much. I felt a little thrill when we first meet Josey. She’s not what you would call beautiful and not the typical girl we find in YA fiction. In fact, she’s a little chunky and uses food as a coping mechanism. She’s happy that the weather is getting colder because that meant she could wear more clothing. There was an instant connection for me with Josey. Here was a main character that was shy, and a little fat, and was just trying to deal with her life as best she could. Josey’s only comfort was food and sweets and she was trapped in a life where there was very little hope. I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see this character.
Allen is an expert as blending a touch of magic into her stories. It’s a “blink and you will miss it” addition. For Chloe Finely books just appear when she needs them and they act as her friends, giving her good advice that she doesn’t always understand or follow. Della Lee is running away from her bad choices and ends up in Josey’s closet as a result. There are clues sprinkled around the story about Della Lee’s true nature and everyone is to give themselves a cookie if they figure it out quickly. It’s a good twist. Everyone in this story is trapped by past decisions and they can’t move forward until they gain the courage to let the past go. All their sorrow is rooted in their past and you just want to shake everyone because the only thing standing in their way of happiness is themselves.
The Sugar Queen was an excellent read. At first I thought splitting a story between three people would annoy me (I’m currently having huge problems with the amount of characters in The Night Circus by Erin Morgertsin) but the three woman flow and ebb into each other so well that it works. At the end, each woman is able to let go of the past and move on. Sarah Addison Allen has written another charming and slightly magical story that was a true joy to read.
P.S. I almost wish Marco Cirrini were real just so I could slap him. What an ass!