The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Large print edition
From the back cover:
At twenty-seven, Josey Cirrini bears little resemblance to the wild-haired, temperamental daughter everyone in her North Carolina hometown remembers. Ever since her beloved but elusive father's death Josey has devoted her life to caring for her aging, irritable mother. Her only solace has been nightly escapades to her closet where she hoards sugary treats and paperback romances. Fleeing her abusive boyfriend, local waitress Della Lee Baker has decided that Josey's closet is a safe place to hide. She see right away that Josey's is not the closet of a happy woman. The pair strike a deal: in exchange for her refuge, Della Lee will change Josey's life.
Well, this book was not as enjoyable for me as her first novel, Garden Spells. But it was charming and I did like Josey, except for the fact that I don't believe any self-respecting twenty-seven year old woman would let her mother belittle her on a daily basis and just sit there and take it. That part of the story I had a hard time swallowing, but the rest was a pleasant reading experience. Sarah Addison Allen tricked me though!! I won't tell you how but needless to say I never saw the twist coming and I should've, she put it right under my nose several times to find. I'm going to chalk it up to the fact that I've been under the weather these past three days and sometimes my mind has been too foggy from cold/flu medicine to make sense of things...yeah, that's what I'll blame it on!! If you liked her previous work, then I think you will enjoy this story. There's just enough mystery, romance, and magic to hold your attention!!
And because I love to find passages that touch me, I will leave you with this one:
"Books can be possessive, can't they? You're walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what's inside will change your life, but sometimes you don't even have to read it. Sometimes it's a comfort just to have a book around. Many of these books haven't even had their spines cracked. 'Why do you buy books you don't even read?' our daughter asks us. That's like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course."
Dar at Peeking Between the Pages