and now i've added sarah addison allen to my list.
i, of course, loved the debut of garden spells and recommended it to everyone in the library--whether they asked for help or not. it was so magical... and i loved that the garden had a life of it's own, and the whole thing with the secret powers of the herbs and plants... okay, it's just another that i loved!!
yet, you never know if a debut novel is going to be a flicker that quickly fades, or the first of many great books. but now that i have finished the sugar queen, i know that garden spells wasn't a charming drop in the pan, and neither is the author.the sugar queen is just as magical and enchanting as i hoped. there are a few things going on here, josey is controlled by her bitter mother, is in love with her mailman, and has a strange woman living in her closet--the closet that holds josey's stash of sweets, romance novels and travel magazines (that's not a sign of repression, is it?); and then there is chloe and the books that appear to her. not like the books she finds on the shelf at the store, but like the books, that follow her from work to home and back again!! oh, man how would that be? i 'spose it could be annoying when you don't want to listen to the books... chloe is like that and the finding forgiveness book that's hounding her.
when josey and chloe team up (with the pushing of the lady in the closet) wonderful things happen for both of them... i don't want to say too much because this book unfolds slowly like a flower in spring... and before you know it, you're stuck and you never want to leave. and don't worry, it's not as sugary sweet as the title may lead you to believe... enjoy!