I enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen’s first book, Garden Spells, so I picked up her second title, The Sugar Queen, to see if it continued to delight with quirky characters and interesting plot lines. It does!
Josey Cirrini is trapped by guilt and fear in the house she has grown up in – torn between her sense of obligation to her cold, demanding mother and fear of change. She finds comfort in her secret stash of sweets and travel magazines hidden in her closet.
One morning Josie wakes up to discover a woman, Della Lee, hiding in that closet. Josey wants Della Lee to leave – but Della threatens to tell Josey’s mother about her sweets (it’s an embarrassing mountain of bad-for-you food). Her fear of being a bigger disappointment to her mom and the hint of desperation in Della Lee’s voice, convince Josey to let Della Lee stay until she can get herself together. What really happens is Della Lee helps Josey get herself together.
With the encouragement of this odd adviser, Josey makes a good friend, finds true love and gains the courage to leave the past behind her.
Allen weaves interesting magical elements through out the story – in addition to Della Lee living in Josey’s closet, there’s a man who is able to steal women’s souls, a family that must keep any promise made, and (my favorite) a woman to whom books appear out of nowhere.
If you can suspend your disbelief, you’re in for a real treat.
Check the WRL catalog for The Sugar Queen
Check for The Sugar Queen on audio CD