Monday, June 16, 2008

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Another delight from Allen - absolutely delicious fun with a dash of danger. Josey Cirrini was evidently a very disagreeable child, as her mother frequently reminds her. She, consequently, OWES the imperious Margaret Cirrini big time, as Josey is also frequently reminded, and must cater to the woman's every demand. Her only act of mini-rebellion is to keep a secret cache of comforting junk food stashed in her bedroom closet, while the only love in her life is a secret crush on the mailman. Josey's life is pretty dull and predictable until she discovers Della Lee, the sassy, bleached blond waitress from the Eat and Run, sitting on her closet floor, looking wet and smelling of cigarette smoke and river water. Della Lee makes it clear that she's not leaving and tells Josey that she should wear makeup. With Della Lee residing in the closet, Josey's life begins to change. It's almost as if Della Lee is a fairy godmother of sorts - well, this IS a Sara Addison Allen book.
Della Lee urges Josey to seek out Chloe Finley. Chloe, who possesses a unique relationship with books ( they appear from nowhere on just the topic she needs and follow her until she pays attention to them), has serious relationship problems. Her longtime boyfriend just confessed to a one night stand with a woman whose name he won't reveal. Another dangerous, but extremely attractive, man adds tension to the plot. Josey and Chloe become friends and, with a little supernatural help, Josey finally gets the nerve to wear red. Loved it!