The Sugar Queen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Sugar Queen

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  29,427 ratings  ·  3,804 reviews
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 rom...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe House of the Spirits by Isabel AllendeLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
Favorite Magical Realism Novels
12th out of 672 books — 3,415 voters
The Help by Kathryn StockettTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Quirky Southern Fiction
9th out of 534 books — 1,460 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
May 06, 2013 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: blog
The Sugar Queen is a book clearly written for a particular type of woman. And that woman is not me. I'm not immune to the charms of chick lit, but I do require it to be witty, have quirky characters, present a plausible and realistic relationship (notice I did not say a "romance") that is not the axis upon which the main character's world turns, and a strong female lead. After reading Garden Spells by the same author last year, I knew that Sarah Addison Allen did not meet this criteria. Alas, I...more
My lovely book-gifting mother gave me a nice, healthy stack of books for Christmas and among them was THE SUGAR QUEEN. I read and loved Sarah Addison Allen's first novel, Garden Spells, last year on the recommendation of my good friend Michelle. Incidentally, I actually gave my mom Garden Spells for Christmas so there was some fun karmic reciprocity goin' on there. Garden Spells was the perfect autumn read and I finished it itching to get my hands on Allen's second book, which, as it turns out,...more
While this is a good read, its storyline is too pat, its conclusion to easy, and its writing too forgettable to earn more than three stars. Would I read it again? Probably not. Would I want to reread parts of it years from now? Possibly. Would I read a sequel? Quite probably. You can draw your own conclusions from that :-)

Our heroine struggles with self-perception and a lack of self-esteem. Josey is supposed to be a Southern in a ski resort town in the mountains of North Carolina....more
Wow! Another magical novel by Sarah Addison Allen. Beautifully written. Much like her debut novel Garden Spells, this book contains a blend of interesting food and magic realism.

Josey Cirrini is a chubby, shy recluse who lives with her overbearing mother. She consoles herself with junk food and romance novels that she keeps hidden in her closet. One day her boring life is turned upside down when she discovers local bad girl, Della Lee, hiding in her closet. Desperate to be rid of Della Lee, Jos...more
Apr 24, 2011 Kei rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves sweet tales with hints of romance and magic.
Recommended to Kei by: No One
Shelves: favorites
I love this story! It's a very strong character-driven tale with all of the ingredients I personally enjoy in a book, a little magic, a little fantasy, romance, conflict, and dream fulfillment. The author chose a very simplistic style of writing and spent very little page space describing the weather, the people's description, and atmosphere which doesn't bother me one bit, since she mastered the storytelling element. She DID describe the main characters enough for you to get a good picture of e...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I will get a red cardigan - and think of Josey's.
I enjoyed this even more than Garden Spells! I liked the chapter titles! And the way books inexplicably appear when Chloe needs them (or when the book thinks Chloe needs it). The relationship between Josey, Della Lee & Chloe develops. And the big laugh I got from the Cirrini's new maid near the end!
I recommend it!
I am so excited I must get her latest book!!!
This treacly romance was lauded by reviewers, but I found it as difficult to swallow as a spoonful of raw sugar. Two young sheltered women in their twenties struggle with their pasts and their current romantic relationships in a small North Carolina resort town. Nothing unusual there, except the author adds elements of magical realism that are not quite successful. For example, there is a strange woman living in the closet of one of the women who may or may not be real. When her presence is hurr...more
Η ρομαντική πένα της Σαρα Αντισον Αλλεν έκανε κ πάλι τα μαγικά της. Αυτή την φορά δημιούργησε μια ιστορία πιο ώριμη από αυτή του Μαγικού κήπου. Ένα κόσμο πιο ωμό και σκληρό, μητέρες εκδικητικές, άντρες που κερατώνουν, θλίψη, μελαγχολία, πορνεία και hangover μετά από μεθύσι. Που όμως περιπλέκονται πολύ αρμόνικα με την γλυκιά αδυναμία της Αλλεν, την αφελή ελπίδα ενός μικρού παιδιού πως εκεί στα καθημερινά και απλά πράγματα κρύβεται μαγεία, το θαύμα. Αλαφροΐσκιωτες υπηρέτριες, κυνηγούν φαντάσματα σ...more
Let’s see…a story about a young single woman who hoards sweets and trashy romance novels in a cache hidden in her closet. Hmm...I’m on board! I’ll take chocolate and passion on the page over my problems any time. And so we have Josey Cirrini, the twenty-seven-year-old heroine of The Sugar Queen. She’s an almost over-the-hill Southern belle without a life or a date, no privacy from a domineering mother, and now has the town harlot camping out and black-mailing her in her bedroom closet. What’s a...more
Tamora Pierce
Books come to Chloe when she needs them to tell her things; Della shows up in Josey's closet (which holds the stash of sweets, romances, and travel inforama that Josey hides from her domineering mother) to tell Josey to get a life, and Josey? Josey nurses a secret love for the mailman. It's Della who brings the three of them together as Chloe's long romance is collapsing and Della's trying to decide what to do about the boyfriend who hit her.

Allen's books about nice Southern girls, magic, food,...more
Beth F.
I think this author is best read when you’re lying low, feeling tired, sick or just plain soul-weary. This is the second novel of hers I’ve read and just like Garden Spells it was a classically perfect definition of an escape. And even though it is Sunday night, a notoriously depressing night of the week for me on account of tomorrow being Monday when I find I must return to a soul-stealing corporate job, I’m relaxed and riding high on the fuzzy afterglow of having just had my saccharine sweet g...more
I'd really like to give this book three-and-a-half stars if possible! I did enjoy it but took a while to get into it - I wasn't too keen on the beginning, but became hooked about halfway through.

There are a lot of similarities with her other book, 'Garden Spells' - again it is a story with elements of magic realism, where the magic seems benevolent and determined to help people, but this time there are also some darker moments and it isn't pure escapism. I discovered this author because Laura r...more
I think this is now my favorite Allen book.
Part of the reason I liked this so well is because it was exactly what I needed right now...essentially, I inadvertently pulled a Chloe in that this book showed up on my holds list and I checked it out and listened to it and it helped soothe my troubled soul. Well, if I had a soul. It helped calm the oozing, black miasma that takes the place of my soul, is probably a more-accurate statement.

This is a story about oppressed women, people who are kept in l...more
Oh I loved this book!

The Sugar Queen

Five stars! This is a delicious book! A tantalizing, sweet story that you will want to savor.

Reading this book is like assembling a large jigsaw puzzle that represents four sides of love. The corners of the puzzle symbolize the four women of the story. There is Josey, a twenty seven year old women, who is living under her mother's thumb. She is still punishing herself over bad behavior committed as a young child. To atone for her supposed transgressions she h...more
I requested this book at the library when a friend informed me it had been released. I didn't read anything about the story beforehand...I just knew it was a new book by the author of _Garden Spells_. I'm glad now that I didn't read any information or reviews, because it made the whole story all the more fresh.

Allen seems to be developing a theme between her novels in regard to characterizing a non-human object and giving it a magical and charming life and influence on the other characters. In...more
Belle Forcible
My most favorite Sarah Addison Allen sweet treat so far...

I didn't find Josey's character as charming as Emily and the Waverleys at first. And Bald Slope, not as enchanting as Mullaby and Bascom. The beginning of the story didn't impress me as much as the first ones did. I was afraid this is going to be some typical chick lit with the typical drama queen with their typical problems and all that typical lame stuff going on. But now I feel guilty. I can't believe I ever doubted Sarah in this, even...more
So I read this book when it came out in 2009. I remember picking it up and immediately relating to the protagonist, Josey Cirrini. Josey, a 28 year old woman lives alone with her cold, wealthy mother. She is guilty of her horrendous behavior as a child, so as repentance she stays to care for her overbearing mama. Over the years she becomes Dickensian, very reclusive, pining over gorgeous mailmen, gorging herself on her secret candy treasure to make herself feel better. The story gets interesting...more
If you're looking for a good, chick-lit, easy on the heart book this might be your speed. This is a quick read in the sense that once you get invested in the plot and characters you don't want to put it down. This is my third Sarah Addison Allen book and I would put it at the top. This is a feel good book full of "magic". Lovely read that I would recommend.
Original post at One More Page

I read and enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells a few months ago and ever since then, I've had her other books on my wish list. I've seen some of them around, but never The Sugar Queen . I know friends have seen copies of this everywhere, but it remains elusive. So I figured, if other people can see it more than I do, then they can probably get it for me for Christmas right? Imagine my delight when Monique sent me this book as a Kindle gift. Squee! Thank you...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
4.75 Stars

THE SUGAR QUEEN is the story of three women, who do not realize just how extraordinary they are. They are also connected on a most basic level. It will be Josey under Della Lee’s guidance that discovers the long held Bald Eagle town secret that binds Josey Cirrini, Della Lee Baker, and Chloe Finley. It is also a Cirrini family secret that will bond the young women forever.

Josey Cirrini is the Sugar Queen. She is just this side of plump, shy, and unhappy. She smells like Christmas and r...more

Originally posted here.

Last year, I enjoyed reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I found that it was fun, fluffy, and light, I couldn't not enjoy it. After closing my copy, I knew I would be reading more Sarah Addison Allen.


The Sugar Queen is, in many ways, similar to Garden Spells – the magical realism, the love story/romance angle, the familiar characters to whom it’s so easy to relate. But The Sugar Queen is a delightful and charming story on its own.


The only comfort in twenty-s...more
Robin (RBBR)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neide Parafitas
Josey é uma jovem triste de 27 anos que vive única e exclusivamente para a sua mãe. Ciente de que não foi uma criança fácil na infância, Josey tenta agora compensar a mãe por todas as "birras" e "maldades" que fez, quando era apenas uma menina e nesta ânsia de consertar tudo, não consegue disfrutar da sua juventude, só sabendo comer doces e ler romances para preencher o vazio em que se tornou a sua vida...

...Até ao dia em que descobre no seu roupeiro Della Lee Baker! Fugindo da sua própria vida,...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Josey Cirrini is finding out that it's hard to change your reputation in a small Southern town. She's a model daughter: she's buried her own hopes and dreams and instead lives to take her mother to endless meetings, teas, and doctor's appointments. But everyone in the town still looks at her as the horrid, spoiled little rich girl who kicked their shins and stole candy from their stores. But one morning, Josey wakes up and finds the town's bad girl in her closet. Della Lee has had enough of her...more
Originally published at Book Harbinger.

To say that twenty-seven year old homebody Josey Cirrini likes sweets is an understatement. Raised by default to attend to her aging, high society mother who is still punishing her for her spoiled childhood, Josey does what any girl in her situation would do: she hides her candy, along with romance books and travel magazines, in a secret compartment in her bedroom closet. That is until one day, she turned to the closet in her time of escapist need and found...more
Carolyn F.
Really sweet, romantic book! I am so jealous of Chloe and her little friends!

Josey lived with her overbearing mother who makes her suffer it seems for her being such a brat when she was little. Now she's 27 and really done nothing with her life. One morning she opens her window to see a ladder outside her window and the bad girl from town in her closet hiding out. Della Lee finds her stash of sugary bad snacks, travel magazines and romance novels. Della Lee will keep her secret if Josey lets her...more
The more days that go by, the more I realize how much I liked this book. The right mixture of magic (books that show up just when a girl needs kind of magic), romance, community, messiness and mystery.
I have thought about these characters often since finishing it. They are well developed and friendly. A 28 year old girl stuck with a society loving mother, a dead father who owned the town and a stranger in her closet. That is not even talking about the maid, who calls her "Oldsey" (ins...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This one wasn't as magical and playful as Garden Spells, but I still enjoyed it. I'm not into romances, but Sarah Addison Allen throws in some magical and humorous elements, and she doesn't get too mushy or graphic with the romance stuff. The pieces of the puzzle fit together a little too neatly in this story. It could have used a little more complexity.

I especially liked the way books intervene in Chloe's life in a magical way. They won't leave her alone! And she never has to pay for them. The...more
Kristina Simon
I've loved all of Sarah Addison Allen's books and this is no exception. In fact, I think this one is my favorite. Each of her books has one magical element that seems to stick with me. In Garden Spells it was the apple tree. In The Girl Who Chased the Moon it was the wallpaper. In this one, it's the stalking books. I loved those books ;o).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Probable Future
  • The Love Goddess' Cooking School
  • The Secret of Everything
  • Nowhere But Home
  • The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1)
  • The Wishing Thread
  • Julia's Chocolates
  • When Autumn Leaves
  • The Rock Orchard
  • A Year on Ladybug Farm
  • Gods in Alabama
  • Of Bees and Mist
  • The School of Essential Ingredients
  • A Place to Call Home
  • The Kitchen Daughter
  • The Fixer Upper
New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction -- a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journa...more
More about Sarah Addison Allen...
Garden Spells The Peach Keeper The Girl Who Chased the Moon Lost Lake Waking Kate

Share This Book

“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. Many of these books haven't even had their spines cracked. 'Why do you buy books you don't even read?' our daughter asks us. That's like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course.” 680 likes
“Sometimes you weren't supposed to share pain. Sometimes it was best just to deal with it alone.” 303 likes
More quotes…