A New York Times bestseller and the magical second novel from the author of the enchanting GARDEN SPELLS
Sarah Addison Allen is the product of a newspaper man and a former debutante who pierced her nose and dyed her hair red at the age of fifty. Taught the fine art of table place settings at an early age, she has never quite shaken off her inherited urge to rebel. She lives in the American South, where THE SUGAR QUEEN is set.
Allen's second bewitching offering (after Garden Spells) is a candy jar of magical characters and mystical adventures set in an ordinary North Carolina town. At 27, Josey Cirrini is "plain and just this side of plump" and trying to make up for her legendary childhood temper tantrums by caring for her aging, widowed mother Margaret. Her closet features neatly stacked junk food packages and romance novels, and her life chugs along. But as the book opens, Della Lee Baker, waitress at the local greasy spoon, shows up in Josey's closet, having propped a ladder against the house and climbed silently in overnight. She's hiding from someone or something, and has no intention of leaving anytime soon. Instead, the very direct Della Lee sends Josey on a series and missions and misadventures that encourage our low self-esteem heroine to step outside her box and away from her snack-filled closet. As in Allen's previous work, there's an element of the supernatural (self-help books that literally follow one around; tears that sprout mysterious tropical flowers), and again it works. Words such as sweet, charming and delightful are weak accolades for such a pleasurable book. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Garden Spells", Sarah Addison Allen's magical and utterly delicious debut novel -- : 'Beguiling ... Weaves a magical spell that enchants you as it draws you in. An absolute gem.' -- Now 'This compelling book has it all - passion, romance and sibling rivalry. This is Sarah Addison Allen's first novel - she's definitely one to watch.' -- My Weekly
Allen's new magical realism romance follows her New York Times best-selling debut, Garden Spells, and is also set in western North Carolina. Josey Cirrini, in her late twenties and atoning for her unruly childhood, drones as a companion for her rich and domineering widowed mother. Josey's sole comfort is the secret stash of romances, travel magazines, and candy in her closet--the same closet in which sleazy Della Lee shows up one November, triggering a month of unexpected change. Josey also meets Chloe, who attracts books like some folks draw stray dogs and cats (you'll never again consider a book an inanimate object). In 13 candy-themed chapters, secrets from the past unravel, and old and new dreams and romances come to fruition. Allen's inspired descriptions of Della Lee's ex-boyfriend Julian wonderfully explain the power "bad boys" exert over even good women. Although not as strong as her debut, this contemporary romance still uses magic to captivating effect. Fans of Garden Spells will want this; for fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/08; see also Neal Wyatt's web-only RA Crossroads for a segment on Garden Spells.--Ed.]--Rebecca Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.