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The Sugar Queen Hardcover – May 20, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 444 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ariadne Meyers's warm and whimsical performance invigorates a colorful cast of characters. Since most of them come from the same small North Carolina town, nearly all carry Southern accents, yet Meyers makes each voice uniqueand believable: the elderly yet forceful and intimidating tone of imperious Margaret; the initially soft, timid voice of Josey, which grows stronger and more confident as the book goes on; the sassy, brassy twang of feisty Della Lee; the lazy, sexy drawl of charming-but-dangerous Julian. The abridgement is seamless. Meyers' rich, nuanced performance adds an extra dimension and will keep listeners captivated from beginning to end. A Bantam hardcover (Reviews, May 5). (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Like the most decadently addictive bonbons, once started, Allen’s magically entrancing novel is impossible to put down."—Booklist, starred review

“Bewitching…. Such a pleasurable book.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st Printing edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553805495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553805499
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bundt Lust VINE VOICE on June 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Much like her charming debut novel Garden Spells (Bantam Discovery), Sarah Addison Allen's Sugar Queen is a blend of food and magic. Josey Cirrini is fast approaching thirty. She's a plump, painfully shy recluse who hides in her closet stuffing herself with junk food and reading romance novels to find solace from her overbearing mother (the two live together). While her mother Margaret was a classic Southern belle, Josey is mousy and timid, with no friends, no love life, and no dreams. She's expected to stay and care for her mother.

But Josey's dull, predictable life is turned upside-down when bad girl Della Lee mysteriously appears in her closet, smack-dab in the middle of her stash of moonpies, pecan rolls, and Little Debbie snacks. Della Lee is Josey's opposite: she lives fast and hard, has been arrested for solicitation, and seems to be on the run from someone. The only problem is that she refuses to leave the closet.

Desperate to be rid of her, Josey agrees to do several favors for Della Lee, which starts her on a journey of self-discovery regarding her family's past. Della Lee becomes a sort of fairy godmother responsible for giving Josey a newfound sense of confidence, and encouraging her to pursue her infatuation with hunky, injured mailman Adam, who's hiding out from his own secret.

Allen cleverly themes each chapter title around Josey's love of sweets, with the candy names reflecting various plot points: SweeTarts, Sno Caps, Sugar Daddy, Mellowcreme Pumpkins, Candy Hearts, and Mr. Goodbar all make guest appearances. Her talent lies in the clever interplay of characters and fate, with a strong Southern sensibility.
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Format: Hardcover
I adored Garden Spells by this author and admit to fearing she wouldn't be able to replicate in The Sugar Queen that same quality of writing that makes me feel as if I'm floating through the story. But she definitely did! I have a hard time defining how Allen's writing differs from other authors. Her characters are so well drawn you fall for them instantly and root for them, even with their flaws. The smattering of magic she includes just works for her, 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.

I found the book to be surprising in some places, including the ending, which I had only partly predicted, and the part I didn't predict left me in tears. A wonderful, highly-recommended book! I truly wish the author could write faster, as it was over far too soon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If this author continues writing in this shimmery other world way I could become her most avid fan. I thought Garden Spells was wonderful and if you suspend your staid, logical way of thinking and just flow with the story of this book you will hate for it to end. This was excellent reading and not nearly long enough. I will buy all of the author's books as long as she continues in this mystical way.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, which I read within 24 hours, was light and delightful, with a twist that surprised me. Again, the author uses (but not too much) magical realism. It is so subtle that the reader believes. As a book-lover, I especially loved how books just "appear" in this story.

In another author's hands, this book could have been overwritten. I like Allen's concise way of writing, her character development, and the sprinkling of magic. I liked this even more than "Garden Spells".

A good story!
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Having read the exquisite "Garden Spells" by Allen, I had to sample the delicious "Sugar Queen." It was MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM good!!!!

Josey Cirrini is twenty seven, slightly plump, and living at home with her overbearing, controlling mother. Mommy dearest demands most of Josey's attentions so to regain a semblance of balance, Josey has a closet filled with divine treats.....candies, cookies, and confections, oh my. Because her Mom demands that she stay thin, she must hide within her closet to eat these delicacies. One morning, while going in for a sugar fix, Josey is astounded by unexpected company. Della Lee, the town "give me some sugar, Baby, and I will make it sweet wine" kind of gal, decides to lodge in Josey closet after a brawl with a visceral boyfriend. Josey's life suddenly does an about turn, and, boy, does she take a ride on the rails of magic and genuine reality. We readers are with her for every twist and turn rooting for her escape from Mommy prison.

Sarah Addison Allen has such an excellent ability to blend magic realism with realism. Her characters are well etched, well developed, leaving you to exalt the underdogs and chide the villains. Be careful though as all of Ms. Allen's characters have potential for both. Her prose is lovely. And her setting in the NC ski town left me breathless from description.(I didn't even know NC had skiing)

I await her next book with great avarice. She is earning my "must read this author's books" status and I now long for Allen's next offering.
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