The Sugar Queen




The Sugar Queen ***.* by Sarah Addison Allen




I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where in her words, pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.




 and Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. . . the perfect little food corner in blogland.





Living in her mother’s shadow, Josey Cirrini,  finds solace in her secret stash of sugary sweets and stockpile of romance novels~


“But food was a comfort. It filled the hollow spaces. And it felt good to hide it, because then she could enjoy it alone without worrying about what others thought, or about letting her mother down.”


 Winter is her favorite time of year in the mountains of North Carolina, where she can bundle up, camouflaged in scarves and layered clothing.


“She stuck her head out and took a deep breath. If she could eat the cold air, she would. She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps. In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting. They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.”






“It was embarrassing enough being such a sorry excuse for a Southern belle. Her weight, her unfortunate hair, her secret dreams of leaving her mother who needed her, of leaving and never looking back. Respectable daughters took care of their mothers. Respectable daughters did not hide enormous amounts of candy in their closets.”



Josey finds Della Lee, a local waitress in town, hiding in her closet amongst her candy stash. Della Lee takes up  residence, hiding out in Josey’s closet, promising to keep her candy stash a secret in exchange for a few favors.





 “Josey shook her head, thinking, if Della Lee were a candy, she would be a SweeTart. Not the hard kind that broke your teeth, the chewy kind, the kind you had to work on and mull over, your eyes watering and your lips turning up into a smile you didn’t want to give.”







 Della Lee sends Josey out for grilled cheese & tomato sandwich. . . 






 Josey meets Chloe, sandwich maker extraordinaire…


One of Chloe’s secrets is that since she was little, whether she liked it or not, books appeared when she needed them. (I should be so lucky~although, I have to admit this has happened on occasion~)












 Through Della Lee’ s influence, Josey begins to slowly come out of shell and realize there is a world waiting for her outside of her closet and her mother’s shadow.



 One of Josey’s many errands for her mother involves her taking her to tea with a friend where they have cucumber sandwiches and raspberry jam puffs~




 Paula Deen’s Benedictine Sandwiches








 If I made these sandwiches again, I would use half the amount of onion the recipe calls for~also, the cucumber and onion need to be drained well before mixing with cream cheese.




 Chocolate Raspberry Triangle Puffs








Chocolate Raspberry Triangle Puffs Recipe


  • Nutella (a hazelnut chocolate spread)

  • Raspberry Jam

  • Puff Pastry

  • 1 Egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water for egg wash

  • Powdered Sugar (optional)


  1. Let Puff Pastry reach room Temp. per directions on box

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  3. Cut Puff Pastry into thirds both ways creating squares

  4. Add Nutella diagonally to each square

  5. Add Raspberry Jam

  6. Fold Puff Pastry diagonally, forming a triangle

  7.  Brush with egg wash and bake on parchment lined baking sheet

  8. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes

  9. Sprinkle powder sugar on top, and let cool.



  These were so easy and good~ but then it’s hard to go wrong with raspberry and chocolate!





This book was a quick, *sweet* read, blending food with a dash of magic, toss in a few secrets and surprises along the way~ which is Sarah Addison Allen’s trademark. While I liked it, I didn’t love it. I did love the candy chapters :-) and this quote:


“Books can be possessive, can’t they? You’re walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what’s inside will change your life, but sometimes, you don’t even have to read it. Sometimes it’s a comfort just to have a book around.”






 Be sure to stop by Designs by Gollum and see what’s being served this Friday & Food for Thought to see what everyone is reading and eating.

  16 comments for “The Sugar Queen

  1. April 9, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Oh, I loved this. I will be looking for this book, but your images will remain with me
    xoxo Pattie

  2. April 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

    What a wonderful post—as usual! I’ve got to read this book. It sounds like a treat! Love your blog!

  3. April 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

    A reader sent me a link to this, so I hope you don’t mind that I’ve popped in to give you my thanks for not only reading my book, but producing such delicious images from it. You’ve made this day a little sweeter for us all.

  4. Chris B
    April 9, 2010 at 11:48 am

    What amazing images! Just as I pictured them while reading this amazing book.

  5. April 9, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Dear Mary,
    What a wonderful place you have here. This was such a lovely post..naturally my mouth waters while looking the those yummy images. I will be making the chocolate,raspberry triangle puffs next week as a treat for my minions at work. :) Thank you for sharing. I shall happily be following your posts.
    Have a delightful day!

  6. April 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I read about your post on Facebook and had to pop in and see what you created here. I loved this book and loved how you shared the sweetness of the book with the candy highlights in the photos and the bright colors bursting through. Sweet! I

  7. Laura Leigh
    April 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Yummy-looking sandwiches (both kinds) and Puff Pastry treats….And I remember this book and how much I liked it….So Fun…..

  8. April 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    how fun sarah popped in on you, i love it when the authors find us enjoying them! i love her books too, and this one is pretty darn sweet! omg i would love to devour it all with you… once again you do flawless little vignettes…

    i had forgotten about the grilled cheese, all the candy stuck in my mind! i have never heard of cow tales, must be a southern thing, its so fun seeing life imitate art!

    your pictures are so gorgeous, normally i love tea sandwiches, but screw the veggies when you follow up with puff pastries ;-)

    i adore all you chapter visuals~

    i really enjoy her books, its hard for me to give a light read 5 stars, but hers was one of the first books i boot on kindle, i was sitting in my living room on a rainy day with a nice fire and felt like a light read, in seconds i had her book and just read it that afternoon. as a sugaraholic i loved it~

    i see you did her new book too, i was going to start it last night but too tired, now i have another library book due back tomorrow i have to read first, then on to the girl who chased the moon next week. i have to say i dread going head to head with you on food for thought, you are always so talented, i was checking out her website today and saw the recipes in the new book, i can’t wait to get started! i am sure you already will knock my socks, but i will muddle through, bite by bite!

    thanks again for sharing, i love your style~

  9. April 10, 2010 at 1:06 am

    A “sweet” review indeed! You always share the most amazing photos. I love how you perfectly capture the theme with your camera. I’m going to add this to my ever growing list. I need to take speed reading classes!

  10. April 10, 2010 at 8:12 am

    You must have had a blast, shopping for all these delicious treats to feature for this post! Great photos & a wonderfully descriptive narrative, too. Well done!

  11. April 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I have this one:) I look forward to it!

  12. April 10, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Oh everything here looks wonderful! And the puffs look so yummy and nice!!!

  13. Rachel :)
    April 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    The candies not only look great they taste great too!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!
    Lots of Love,

    • April 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      you guys are the best!

  14. Daniel
    April 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    SOOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love how you set everything up!

  15. April 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I was just thinking about your sugar post the other day when was purchasing Lindt chocolate with sea salt. Thanks for visiting Big Smiles and Bigger Hips. You didn’t miss anything by not finishing The Thirteenth Tale..

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