“It was the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. It was as sweet as sugar. And it was warm, as warm as pie. The whole world opened up and I fell inside. I don’t know where I was, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care because the only person who mattered was there with me.”
The Sugar Queen was everything its name implies: fluffy, wholly without substance but also tasty and sweet. It’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but if, like me, you’ve been slogging through David Foster Wallace for several weeks, and need to take a breather, then it’s perfect.
The Sugar Queen is about a girl named Josey, who at 28, basically lives to serve her bitchy, elderly mother. Josey’s father basically saved the town she lives in by building a ski resort, and as a result, her family is wealthy and her deceased father is revered. One day, a girl named Della Lee appears in Josey’s closet, discovers her secret stash of candies and turns her whole world upside down.
There’s a strong presence of magical realism in The Sugar Queen, one that reminded me of Chocolat. One character has books randomly appear to her, showing up when she least expects them (but always when she needs them). One family is known for their literal inability to break a promise. Josey’s housekeeper and pharmacist both peddle a little magic. Touches like this appear throughout the book without a big fuss, and made it just that much sweeter.
Like I said, it’s saccharine and twee, but The Sugar Queen was a nice little taste of something sweet and I enjoyed it quite a bit.