"A little bit of mystery and a little bit of magic, similar to the writing of Sarah Addison Allen. Personal redemption is a favorite theme of mine, so I loved this book." That is a quote from a review I received on my novel, Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn. I had never read Sarah Addison Allen, so I had to check her out. The first novel I read was Garden Spells because I like to garden, so I figured it would be interesting. It was, so when I saw an ad for the Sugar Queen I had to read it also. I'm hooked. There is dysfunction, humor, fantasy and magic in Addison Allen's stories. If you like contemporary women's fiction, you will probably like these novels.
In the Sugar Queen, Josey finds a reformed prostitute, Della Lee Barker hiding in her closet. Della Lee is a hot mess, but begs Josey to tell no one where she is. Josey Cirrini and her mother, Margaret, are prominent citizens in their ski resort community, Bald Slope. Other than Margaret, their live-in maid, Helena,
is the only other person Josey sees and communicates with until Della Lee. She does have a crush on the mailman, Adam, but other than putting on her favorite red sweater when he delivers the mail, Josey doesn't communicate her interest. Things begin to change when Della Lee sends Josey on a series of errands for her outside of the Cirrini's Victorian mansion. Josey begins to develop relationships beyond her demanding mother.
Chloe, a young woman about Josey's age, becomes a good friend. Josey discovers she is recently estranged from her boyfriend who is the best friend of Adam, the Cirrini's mailman. Then Chloe begins to confide in Julian, Della Lee's live-in boyfriend, and the unraveling of mysteries begins.
The characters are the drivers of the story and each one is unique and believable, even the craziest, and Addison Allen has some crazy characters. You find yourself cheering for them and sure enough, they are going to be okay. These are light reads, but page turners and filled with humor. I will read more by this author and highly recommend.