**spoiler alert** Finally, I finished my first Sarah Addison Allen. Actually, I finished it days ago and have been much too lazy to write a review, bu**spoiler alert** Finally, I finished my first Sarah Addison Allen. Actually, I finished it days ago and have been much too lazy to write a review, but that's neither here nor there.
I picked up The Sugar Queen first because the plot of it appealed to me more than that of Garden Spells. I feel as though it's obligatory for me to read any novel that I can that's based in my home state of North Carolina (except for Nicholas Sparks - no one likes you, Nicholas Sparks), so I was tickled to learn that Allen writes most of her fiction based in this state.
What can I say? The Sugar Queen is about a girl named Josey. She is quintessentially a shut-in, seeming to exist only to do the domestic chores that her mother bids her to do. It speaks loudly of some whispers I've heard in the south - about how this state and presumably other states in the south used to be. Some people here believe that it's a biological imperative for women to marry early to an agreeable man and pop out as many children physiologically possible. Josey, sadly, is an example of what happens to the ugly ducklings; she is raised to believe she is imperfect by an insecure, unhappy mother and thereby shelters herself in her home, with the safety of hidden sweets in her closet.
It is the sweets that Josey is walking into her closet for the morning she discovers a new resident taking up space among the hanging clothes - Della Lee, a woman that is notorious in town. Della Lee becomes an instigator for Josey, ultimately becoming the impetus for her healing herself. Della Lee is responsible for Josey meeting up with a new friend, Chloe - an only friend, really.
This is a book about love and women and healing. There is a love story and it's charming without going overboard. The writing is simplistic, but superb. It's sweet without being cloying which - when taking into account the fact that each chapter is named after a sweet that somehow foreshadowed the content therein - is something that I almost anticipate....more