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Literary Friday: The Sugar Queen

Friday, August 26, 2011


This week I started reading a book that I did not like at all, so I decided to revisit an old favorite because I have had one of those weeks!  Do you ever do that?  Take comfort in an old book you adore, revisiting characters that seem like friends? Here is why my week has not gone very well:  Shanley got sick her first week of classes.  I have been to Tuscaloosa several times, and what we thought at first was asthma and allergies quickly developed into bronchitis.  She is coming home tomorrow for the weekend because she wants to rest.

I am sad that I have only visited blogs that start with A - M.  I still have so many more blogs to visit, but the good news is I have finished most of my neglected chores!  Yay!  So now on to one of my favorite books, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen.  Of all of her books, this one is my very favorite.  I also noticed some interesting elements concerning mood and atmosphere during this second reading.  I have also posted about The Girl Who Chased the Moon and The Peach Keeper.

I guess by now you are wondering why The Sugar Queen is one of my favorite books.  I love the book because of the characters, the magical elements, and the love stories.  I also love Addison's books because they all have a North Carolina setting.

Josey Cirrini is a reclusive heiress who lives in a large home with her mother and a superstitious South American maid named Helena.  Josey is not your typical Southern Belle heiress, and it is not just because she lives with her mother in her late twenties.  She is a closet sugar-eater.  Literally. She has a stash of candy bars and other treats hidden in a secret compartment in her closet, which is soon discovered by Della Lee Baker, the town floozy.  Della Lee has discovered Josey's Stash because she has moved into her closet. Literally.  Another interesting fact about Josey:  she has a crush on the handsome mailman, and Helena knows all about it!  The question is this: can Josey's mother's practice of placing peppermint oil on the thresholds and windowsills keep out unwanted visitors, and possible suitors for Josie?

Chloe Finley is the owner of the extremely popular lunch counter in the town's courthouse.  She is also living in a dream loft with her lawyer fiance, but there is trouble in their relationship. Chloe has an unusual issue (I wish I had): whenever she is in need of a book, it magically appears.  And if she does not read the book, it stalks her wherever she goes until she pays it some attention.  Chloe has rented a storage facility to store her masses of books, but what Chole really needs is a cozy cottage with a large library.  I really enjoyed the house talk in this book, and I think most of you would like it, too.

Another one of the magical elements I love is Josey's red sweater.  Good things happen to Josey when she wears it, and it isn't just because she feels pretty in it.  I think all ladies at one time or another have a special outfit or article of clothing that makes them feel special while wearing it, and good things tend to happen.  Josey's red sweater is magical for her, and red is definitely her magical color. The mood of the book changes according to what Josey wears.

Josey and Chloe eventually become friends because Della Lee is constantly craving Chloe's sandwiches.  The three ladies have ties that go beyond the love of a mean tuna melt, and I enjoyed the dialogue between these amazing women immensely.  Chloe conveniently knows Josey's mailman, and she gives Josey insight into what makes him a truly special catch.

If you have not read any of Sarah Addison Allen's books, you are missing out. I highly recommend The Sugar Queen.  I know you will like it!

I have decided not to blog about any books I do not like.  I am trying to keep my blog a positive place, and I have only blogged about a couple if books I did not like, and I have regretted those posts.  If you notice on my sidebar that I am reading a book, and I do not post about it, you will know why.   ;P

Would you post about a book you did not like?  Should I reconsider my policy?  I would like to know what you think!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. well I love when you love a book and how happy you sound describing it. It makes me want to curl up in a soft blanket and a great book.
    Hmm, the question of not posting a bad review is a difficult one.
    One side I would want to know and hear your take.
    On the other, maybe it is something someone would really love and it would therefore turn them off of it. But that is what critics are, just one persons take. We are put here to choose our ways and make our own decisions to see where life leads us.
    Sorry, I am not much help lol
    Sending well wishing for Shanley :)

  2. I think you should not do anything you feel that is negative for YOU. I do think it helps others to get your feedback on a negative book that otherwise we would run out and buy or download. But, on the other hand, everyone has different opinions and likes and dislikes! So, obviously I'm no help either!, But, I think you should do what is right for YOU and the comfort of YOUR blog!!

  3. why waste time and space writing about books you don't like,,personally I like to hear books people liked,,sorry to hear about your sick child,, hopefully the weekend home will be all thats needed to make everything improve,

  4. Life is too short to read bad books! But out of curiosity, what book was it? I gotta avoid it... :)

    I'm so sorry your girl got sick! :(
    I remember getting the crud every semester, just from dorm living and sharing germs that way. I hope she feels better ASAP!

  5. Well I think you know what I think already,but as I review books sent to me by authors in return for an honest review, I feel obliged to do so!
    So sorry to hear your daughter has been unwell this week, hope she feels better after a weekend of TLC.

  6. As a member of two book clubs, I'm always being asked my opinion about books and what I would suggest. I'm always honest of course but I temper my opinion with "this is why I didn't like it but that's just me". I've read books that everyone has raved about and hated them and vice versa- If I've been wanting to read a book I won't not read it just because I heard a bad review.

  7. First let me wish your daughter a speedy recovery. The book sounds marvelous-we just been to the library and got a bunch of books since our TV and everything with it is gone.
    I'd only post nice things, too, in order to keep my blog as positive as possible.

  8. Hello Ricki! I hope Shelley is fine now. The book looks interesting. If only I have the luxury of time, I would read the books you recommend. I always wanted to join in your Literary Friday party but I am such a slow reader. ;-) It would take a month before I finish a book. After I finish the recent books I'm reading, I would love to join. Have a great weekend!

  9. Ew. I'm sorry your girl got sick. Sounds awful.

    I have not heard of this book or author, but I really must check it out. She sets them all in NC? Love it! I'm a huge fan of promoting my state.

    About negative reviews, I think you should do what you want. If a negative review is dragging you down, by all means, don't post it. I try to find reasons why I like a book and reasons why it didn't sing to me. I aim for objectivity for books I didn't care for. And I gush like a mad person for books I loved.

  10. I haven't read any books lately, but I just got my new reading glasses and now I can check out the ones you suggest. So sorry to hear about the bronchitis. I've had it a few times when I was younger - not fun. Oh, Nel did a post on art, and since you are so creative with art, I think you may enjoy it. Have a lovely weekend.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  11. I DO know exactly what you mean about turning to the comfort of books when things are difficult. I'm just the same. I love to get lost in a new world.

    This sounds like a good one! Thank yuo so much for letting us know!


  12. Please consider mentioning books you don't like...maybe at the end of a review of one you've enjoyed! We like so many of the same books that it saves me getting one I KNOW I won't like! And Sarah A. Allen is one of my ALL time favorite authors! She lives right here in Asheville and I would love to meet her some day! I love this book best, too! ♥

  13. I think I would like this one, I'll add it to my list.

    I hope Shanley is feeling better. I didn't realize that she was home because she was sick.

  14. This looks very good! I will have to pick it up. I have mentioned books that I don't like. Only because I feel like I should. I don't get nasty though... just a simple little review. I appreciate an honest opinion. :)

    Hope daughter is doing better! Those crazy first few weeks of school can be hard on a body.

  15. this is such a FABULOUS BLOG!! I love it.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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