by Sarah Addison Allen
Publication Date: May 20, 2008
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: Penguin Books
Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night. . . . Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother.
With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters.
The last of Sarah Addison Allen’s books (to date) that I’ve read, it’s also the one I like the least. Which is what I expected, and why I waited so long to read it in the first place. Something about the whole secret addiction to sugar turns me off, which is ironic, really, since I used to go to great lengths as a child to sneak and hoard sweets. But then again, I was a child, and Josey is an adult.
What I loved was Chloe’s ‘affliction’. If one is going to be saddled with an affliction, having the books you need at that moment not just show up, but follow you around, seems like a pretty good one to be saddled with. Embarrassing, maybe, but definitely one I could cope happily with.
There’s a plot twist involving Della Lee that was obvious to me from their first conversation. It seemed so obvious to me that I was sure I was going to be proven wrong, so I guess that kept me reading. I thought the entire story line with Julian superfluous and detracted from the story line, rather than added to it.
Overall, an easy read I was able to complete in a day, and perfect for what I needed it for that day.