Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Writer's Wednesday: Sarah Addison Allen's The Sugar Queen is sweet

A sweet read!

When I describe this book as delicious, I'm not being cliche.  The sensory details in The Sugar Queen are phenomenal. Each chapter is the name of a different candy.  Food is up front and center--practically a character itself. Most similes and metaphors are connected to food.

I had no suspicion it was written in the style of magical realism until it finally hit me like a bag of lemon drops. 

Sure, it's odd for an acquaintance to suddenly take up residence in your closet--that's stocked with your secret stash of sweets and travel magazines.

Yes, it's unusual to have characters so accepting of superstition.  The protagonist Josey smells like Christmas because her mother insists all entrances to the house be scented with peppermint to keep away unwanted visitors. 

However,  the aspect that made me realize the novel embraced magical realism as much as Josey embraces GooGoo Clusters is a character named Chloe who lives her life encountering books that find her. They show up on couches, bars, floors, car seats, etc. (But never a bathroom because they might get wet. That makes sense, right?)  Books hound her because they need to be read. Who needs a therapist when you have books seeking you to help you with life?  I love the idea. All Chloe has to do to find answers is pick up a book and read it.

Author Sarah Addison Allen may have a similar relationship with books because she wrote this essay entitled Just So You Know with which any book lover can identify.

I literally squealed when I read this book.  It was delightful.

Lisa of the Office (we have so many Lisa ladies in our life that they have special monikers) loaned this book to me, and I'm so grateful.

Books are a favorite gift of mine, and this one is begging to be gifted in a basket with lots of candy.  Allen's website has a book club link with a page link called The Candy.  Go here and see all of the sugary foods that are in the book. 

So, if anyone gets it from me for Christmas, know it's because I think you, like the book, are sweet.

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