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The Sugar Queen

The Sugar Queen
by Sarah Addison Allen

I dub Sarah Addison Allen my new goddess. It used to be Sarah McLachlan but then she cheated on me with the US Olympics and I think I might have to break up with her. However, I have a new Sarah Goddess and she’s in literature this time. And I already know she’s not Canadian so it’s not like she can cheat on me with the US like some other Sarah did. *might be slightly bitter about the Olympic theme for NBC*

So, in August 2008 I read Garden Spells. The only other thing in the world I think I am more in love with is my husband (ok and my dogs). I had not been that touched by a novel in my adult life. And not the kind of touching that results in band-aids on dolls either. This book filled me with such enchantment and contentedness that I was literally sad about finishing it.

I put off reading The Sugar Queen for some time. Why? Mainly because I was so enthralled by Garden Spells that I didn’t want to break that connection I had with the book in case this new one didn’t make me feel the same way. This was a different story, different characters and what if I didn’t like them? What if what I felt about Garden Spells didn’t happen with The Sugar Queen? So many people told me I would love this book and that I should read it. I did finally pick it up last year but then it sat on my TBR shelf and just taunted me with it’s pretty cover and sugary title. The book even FELT enticing. But I couldn’t bring myself to read it.

Finally Saturday afternoon, after having finished another book I picked this one up. It’s almost like it called to me. And I read it. Cover to cover. In about two and a half hours.

It started off ok. I didn’t think I would have the same connection to these characters as I did in the previous book. I didn’t like Della Lee in the closet. I hated Josie’s mother with a passion (which I know was the point). But then Della Lee started to grow on me and I was pretty sure I knew her story (I was right). Josie and Chloe are two women I would love to have as friends. Adam was sweet and the whole snowman scene filled me with such joy.

The best part? Chloe being followed around by books her entire life. The relationship she had with the books that were trying to help her out by just appearing made me laugh many times. Imagine that! To be forever followed by books that were there when you needed them (even if you didn’t want their help). I think I have a lot of books… something like that would probably kill my husband. ha!

I had tears in my eyes at the end of this book. The connection I felt with the previous one was not as strong with this novel, although I was left with the same lighthearted feeling as I turned the last page. There is something in the way this author writes that just speaks to my heart. It’s not overly romantic, but the relationships in the story are strong and the humour is subtle and just the right amount. The characters are real, even with the quirks of book stalkers. You feel what they feel you want them to succeed and find happiness.

I know Sarah Addison Allen currently has a new book out, however I will be a good girl and wait until the trade paperback comes out next spring. The lure of the new book is strong however due to the use of the word “moon” in the title. I have a weird lust for all things moon-related. (One of the best books I read was Elizabeth Berg’s The Pull of the Moon, which I lent to someone who never gave it back and then vanished one day. Sigh. She had two of my Berg books.)

So. The lesson I learned here? Read anything and everything that Sarah Addison Allen ever publishes. She is a literary goddess.

6 comments to The Sugar Queen

  • I have read some great reviews of this author’s books. For my son’s girlfriend’s 19th birthday, one of the book gifts I gave her was Garden Spells. I then asked her if I could read the book once she was done. hehehe This book, Sugar Queen is already on my list of books to read, but I thought I would read Garden Spells first.

    Loved your review, love your humor.

    • Cat

      Ha! That’s a sneaky way to get to read the book. 😉 Your library might have it in stock – mine did and it hardly has any English books. 😉

      And thanks for the compliment on the review. 😳

  • Your review strikes a cord with me. I too recently read a SAA book and have put off another SAA book (Garden Spells) because I didn’t want to break my connection with The Girl Who Chased the Moon.

    Awesome review!

  • Oh one more thing, she’s followed by books? I LOVE it!

    In the Girl Who Chased the Moon the wallpaper changes with her mood.

    • Cat

      Oh, Juju, you’ll love Garden Spells! And it’s nice to hear that you felt about The Girl Who Chased the Moon as I did about Garden Spells. Gives me high hope for that book. And I love that the wallpaper changes with her mood! I love these little mystical elements in her stories. In Garden Spells it’s food-related so a lot of people compared it to, um, Practical Magic (I think that’s it). But I felt like GS was it’s own entity!

  • I’ve been putting of reading this one for the very same reason – but now I have the go-ahead from the lovely Cat – yay! I have heard good things about the new one, which is exciting.