[amazon_image id=”B00125MK78″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]The Sugar Queen[/amazon_image]Josey Cirrini has an unhappy closet: it’s stuffed with candy, soda, and other sweet treats. Josey sneaks her treats in to hide them from her critical mother. One day, Josey finds Della Lee Baker hiding in her closet. At Della Lee’s request, Josey goes to a sandwich shop near the courthouse to buy Della Lee a sandwich and meets Chloe, who has just broken up with her long-time boyfriend Jake after he admitted to cheating on her. Chloe attracts books—they find her when she needs them and follow her around. Della Lee decides she is going to help Josey when she finds out Josey is in love with her mailman, Adam. Della Lee’s entrance into her life changes Josey in ways she can’t begin to imagine.
[amazon_link id=”B00125MK78″ target=”_blank” ]The Sugar Queen[/amazon_link] started a little more slowly for me than other Sarah Addison Allen books. It’s a quirky book. Josey is essentially childlike—she lives under her strong mother’s thumb, afraid to do what she really wants (which is travel and eat what she likes without scrutiny) because she feels she needs to do penance for her behavior as a child—nearly everyone in town has a story about Josey Cirrini’s poor behavior as a girl. As such, she’s not your typical spunky heroine. I liked her anyway because she was realistic. I also liked Della Lee and Chloe. Allen is good at drawing realistic characters and placing them plausibly in magical realism. I like the actual storylines in [amazon_link id=”0553807226″ target=”_blank” ]The Peach Keeper[/amazon_link] and [amazon_link id=”055338483X” target=”_blank” ]Garden Spells[/amazon_link] better than the story in The Sugar Queen, but it was still an enjoyable summer read.
If you visit Sarah Addison Allen’s website, you can find recipes for Chloe’s sandwiches (which sound really tasty, I have to admit) and a guide to all the candy mentioned in the book. Allen says on her website that she tried all the candy mentioned in the book (for the purposes of research!) and gained 18 pounds while writing it.