The Sugar Queen
by Sarah Addison Allen

This is a sweet, lovely little tale of women living in a small town ski resort, each with a slight touch of the paranormal (one has books that appear in daily path with themes like “finding forgiveness” when her boyfriend cheats on her etc) who all have to overcome something holding them back.

Josey is the main character, who lives as a driver/companion with her cranky mother and a maid named Helena who puts peppermint on the windowsills to keep out bad influences. She keeps crackers and cookies and candy hidden in her closet so her mother won’t see, and one day when she opens the closet there is something amazingly different inside.

Chloe is the other main character, who is striking out on her own after learning that her beloved boyfriend has cheated on her.

I loved the paranormal bits. They served to accent each character’s personality and felt like Alice Hoffman’s brand of eccentric flavor rather than taking over the story. This is a really sweet romance…and while there is some evil embodied by an ex-boyfriend with long hair, only one of the heroines really faces the consequences of that evil.

Josey is the one I liked the best because her story was more about separating herself from her mother and childhood personality that no longer applied to her life. Chloe was a little harder for me…her journey seemed mostly about forgiving a cheating boyfriend.

Hmmm……that wasn’t as enjoyable for me. And before you make assumptions, its not because I think all cheating boyfriends need to be dumped. The boyfriend and Chloe don’t seem to process, at least for me, enough of the implications of the change in their relationship. Forgiving is a momentous thing, and i wanted Chloe to be sadder-but-wiser, and for her boyfriend to do some serious groveling or painful realizations– and that felt glossed over.

Sweet romance very light with a touch of fun paranormal.