The Sugar Queen
By: Sarah Addison Allen
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.
This is the last of Sarah Addison Allen’s books that I had not read yet and once again she has put together such a story that left me awake until the wee hours of morning reading to see how everything will turn out =P Contains some spoilers ahead!
The Peach Keeper
By: Sarah Addison Allen
It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite Paxton Osgood—has restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.
You think I would learn this lesson by now: once you start a novel by Sarah Addison Allen, you can’t stop until you finish it! I started reading this book last night after finishing Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (review), managed to contain myself by reading a few chapters but in the end read the rest of the novel this evening *thud* May contain some spoilers ahead!
By: Sarah Addison Allen
The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.
A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.
When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other.
Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own…
Sarah Addison Allen’s books should come with a warning at the front: never start reading her books the night before if you have somewhere to be the following day. Once you start reading her books, you never want to put them down! I greatly enjoyed her other novel, The Girl Who Chased the Moon (review) so I sought to check out her other works. Contains some spoilers ahead!
The Tiger’s Wife
By: Tea Obreht
In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife.
This is a book that I’ve heard a lot of buzz in the past year. The author won the 2011 Orange Prize and received a lot of praise from the media. After hearing from a particular blog that I regularly visit that the book was one of the best he’s read in the past year, I decided to check it out for myself. Contains some spoilers ahead!
By: Alice Hoffman
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally endured that fate: As children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their darkened house and their love concoctions and their crowd of black cats. All Gillian and Sally wanted to do was escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared brought them back to each other, and to the magic they couldn’t escape. A delicious novel about witches and real love, family life and everyday spells. A literary incantation.
I had watched the movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman years and years ago and remembered enjoying it immensely. It was probably some time ago though that I learned that the movie was based from a book (don’t know why it took me that long to establish that). Well, I finally got a copy of the book and decided to start reading it yesterday…all through the night…and finished it today. I just couldn’t put it down! Contains some spoilers ahead!