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Usually Josey Cirrini’s closet houses her secret stash of candy and romance novels. Josey is more than a little spooked when suddenly Della Lee Baker seems to have taken up residence in the closet. Della Lee is a local waitress in the small town of Bald Slope, North Carolina. She tells Josey she is hiding out from an abusive boyfriend.
Josey is still living with her elderly mother and a maid who speaks very little English. She has to hide Della Lee from her mother who was once a Southern belle and is critical of Josey’s plus size, among other things. Josey was a late in life child for her mother and late beloved father. Josey is willing to live a reclusive life at her mother’s beck and call because she was a difficult child whose fits and tantrums are still fodder for small town gossip.
The one light in Josey’s drab life is the daily visit of the mailman, Adam. He seems to have all the attributes of her paperback romance heroes.
Della Lee is not a quiet visitor and she nudges Josey into running errands for sandwiches, which introduces Josey to Chloe, another young woman with troubles of her own. Will the blossoming friendship between Chloe and Josey lead them to better futures, as well as dealing with secrets of the past?
THE SUGAR QUEEN is the second novel by author Sarah Addison Allen and she once again uses a sprinkling of magic in a charming tale of love and family. The characters are richly drawn and the setting works its own special magic. Extra charm is added with Southern candy names used for chapter titles. In this current trade paperback edition there is the extra bonus of Q& A’s with the author and discussion questions for reading groups. I will be looking forward to Ms. Allen’s third book coming out in early 2010.
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