Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (audio book)

From the back of the audio case: Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden 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 it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis - and two parts fairy godmother...

Fleeing a life of bad luck and big mistakes, Della Lee has decided Josey's clandestine closet is the safest place to crash. In return she's going to change Josey's life - because, clearly, it is not the closet of a happy woman. With Della Lee's tough love, Josey is soon forgoing pecan rolls and caramels, tapping into her startlingly keen feminine instincts, and finding her narrow existence quickly expanding.

Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love - and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.

Read by: Karen White

My thoughts: I have really come to enjoy Sarah Addison Allen's books. I first came across her when I received a copy of The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and while I didn't read it right away, I did keep seeing her other books around. I have now listened to two of her books - The Peach Keeper and The Sugar Queen - and have read one - The Girl Who Chased the Moon. All three have been really good stories and I have been recommending them to anyone I talk to. One of the things I love about SAA's writing is that they are the perfect escape books. The smattering of magic she includes just seems to work, where it might seem contrived if used by another author. I think each of her characters has a bit of magic inside them, whether they know it or not. She tends to include just enough magic that it is easy to suspend belief while simply enjoying the story.

The Sugar Queen is a sweet tale of love and self-discovery. Josey has never left home. She is at her mother's beck and call all day long - running her errands, driving her to meetings, dressing and speaking as her mother wants her to. The only joy in her life is the stash of sweets she has hidden in her closet - her secret sanctuary. One night, that all changes when Della Lee appears and decides to hide out there. From that point on, things start to change.Through Della Lee's not so subtle interventions, Josey's life starts to change. She finds a true friend, a love, and, most importantly, herself.

My favorite part of this story is how for one character books would magically appear whenever they were needed - although not necessarily wanted. As a lover of books, this is one piece of magic that I would love to really happen. Here's a quote from the book that sums up the importance of books:

 "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." 

So, what about you? Is there some magic that you wish could happen in real life?

(I borrowed this audio book from the library.)

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4 comments

  1. I'm assuming Karen's performance was good? (It tends to be). I have a few of Sarah Addison Allen's books, but I haven't read any of them. Perhaps I should make a point of giving her a try after the twins come, she'll probably hit the spot perfectly.

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    1. And they are quick books, too - so I don't think you will have any problems getting through them! Yes, Karen's performance was good.

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  2. I love the mood wallpaper in another one of her books.

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    1. Yes - that was really cool! I think it was in The Girl Who Chased the Moon.

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