It's been COLD out here! Normally I prefer the cold to heat, but it's getting downright ridiculous. Instead of whining, I've decided to embrace winter and read a winter book (that's not true, I'm still whining, but at least I had a good book to read while freezing my hinney off). The book is The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen and it was the perfect winter treat. As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
While there, Della Lee imparts much street wisdom unto the sheltered Josey, including on how to dress like a grown up, wear make-up and just live a life in general. Della Lee sends Josey to a very specific sandwich shop for a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich (which sounds soooo yummy right now!) from Chloe Finley. Chloe is a special girl herself, she has a boyfriend Jake (who she has just kicked out for cheating on her) and the weird gift of having apt books just randomly appear when she needs them (my dream come true!). Chole's ex-boyfriend Jake is friends with the mailman Adam, on whom Josey has had a crush on for years. Josey and Chloe end up hitting it off and help each other out through various going ons. Della Lee finally reveals to Chloe that she is actually her half-sister, and that Chloe is as well (even though she does not know it). It turns out that Marco was a lady's man and had women pretty much at will (which seems to be par for the course for rich, powerful men). The result was at least two children and when Margaret found out, she got pregnant out of spite, as she and Marco had agreed to not have children. This explains a lot of the coldness Josey's mother feels towards her, as she was never really wanted in the first place. Josey finally accepts this and she and Adam finally hook up and decide to travel the world. Chloe and Jake decide to make another go at it after Chloe discovers that she can live with out him and it would be her decision to take him back and not one of desperation. Josey goes to her closet to let Della Lee know what is going on, when she discovers that Della Lee has actually been dead ( a suicide) and it is her ghost that has been passing along the sisterly advice. Josey decides to accept this and goes on to live her own, full life, away from her mother and the tiny town that she was suffocating in, returning only when Chloe needs her to be the maid of honor at her wedding.
Garden Spells. This book had a subtle magic woven through out a very serviceable tale. Let's start with the characters. Josey was a great main character, she was pretty, but not stunning, normal shaped, not thing and willowy, she was living an expected life, but had yearnings of something more, in other words she is most people I have ever met. This is great because I would guess that the vast majority of readers could identify very closely with her right away, I mean who doesn't have some sort of secret stash of hidden treats of some sort? I liked her story arc and that the author gave a background and reasoning for Josey being who she is and then a fairly realistic arc to who she became. Chloe was fun, I liked her book magic and her determination to find herself apart from her true love, but be able to be adult enough to not use that to ditch him permanently...if that makes any sense at all. Margaret had her own arc, which included its fair share of heart ache and angst and while explained why she was the way she was, never made it an excuse for her treatment of her only daughter. The boys Adam and Jake got their pages in as well, and while not as fully fleshed out, at least made them distinguishable from each other. Della Lee was my favorite though, she was in equal parts tough, sad, sassy, and defeated, she was the voice of everybody else, the embodiment of the sheer weight of feelings that we all experience and sometimes have a hard time processing...plus she wore a tiara
What is your hidden stash treat? Could you read a winter theme book in any other season? Do I use () and ...way to much?