Friday, January 6, 2012

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

book jacketReview by Jan:

As all our NYOBG members are aware, I adored Garden Spells by this author. I am very pleased to write that I enjoyed The Sugar Queen just as much--and there wasn't one single chili pepper in the book.

The Sugar Queen is about a young woman named Josey who cares for her overbearing mother. Josey stores candy in her secret closet and reads romance novels and travel books, dreaming of adventure and leaving the responsibilities of her repressed life behind. Everything changes when a local woman named Della shows up in her closet, hiding from an abusive boyfriend, and teaches Josey how to have the courage to reach for happiness. This would be a wonderful choice for our book group, so I will keep this review short in hopes that it makes our final selection. I will say that Josey's journey from an unhappy recluse to social confidence is as heart-wrenching as it is beautiful, and like Garden Spells, every character is worth remembering and discussing.

This is a stand-alone book, not connected to Garden Spells, but with a similar setting in a southern quirky community. Once again, the story is sprinkled with just the right amount of magic to keep it intriguing, and with a unique cast of characters, flawed yet exquisitely penned. Allen's writing style is simply perfect. I devoured this book in one evening, and I do hope you give it your vote!

Hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

Request The Sugar Queen from The Bangor Public Library

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous NYOBG MemberJanuary 10, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I'm so glad -- and not a little relieved -- to learn that you liked The Sugar Queen as much as Garden Spells. I would have been really disappointed if Garden Spells had been "beginner's luck" on the part of the author. However, having peeked at The Sugar Queen not long after it came out, I had reason to hope it would be equally as good. Your review may be short but it makes it clear that this book also has the elements that our group loved about Garden Spells. While I enjoy diversity, I'd certainly be happy to return to an author who delivers so successfully. Here's hoping we all get a chance to appreciate her together again.

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  2. I think what I found most interesting was that the antagonist in the story (Josey's mother, Margaret) was in many ways the most compelling. It is her story that has me thinking about the book still. I love when an author can justify bad behavior, or at least make us understand how a character can become that way. Josey will grab your heart from the beginning pages, and so will all the secondary characters. This book would be fun to discuss with the group. It was a fun, quick read, with interesting characters. I, too, really hope it's chosen! :0)
    Jan

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  3. I'm so glad this got voted for next month's discussions - I can't wait to curl up an enjoy. Thanks for a great evening, btw - had a Blast at tonight's meeting!

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  4. I loved everyone's opinions last night! We have such a great group of ladies... it was fun! And I promise to read Hunger Games and post a review soon so we can all comment. :o)
    I hope you enjoy The Sugar Queen as much as I did. Take a look at the book group questions in the back... you may get a chuckle. It's so much more, well, formal than our normal discussions. :o)
    Jan

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  5. Ok - this book is Seriously addictive. Not in a gripping-edge-of-your-seat way, but in a such-a-sweet-story-makes-me-happy way. Like chocolate.

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  6. That is a PERFECT description!!! It's such a fun, feel-good story where everyone ends up happy. :o)
    Jan

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