The Sugar Queen is an easy-reading, fluffy novel about Josey, a young woman who lives with and looks after her aging, cantankerous mother. Her daily excitement is to day dream about the handsome mailman as he arrives with the mail. This book is chick-lit to the core! The Sugar Queen was our July Kitchen Reader selection and was chosen by Karen of Shortbread.
I don't read a lot of chick-lit, and perhaps this is why I found the plot silly and the characters flat. But as I set aside my concerns about realism and plot development, I whizzed through the book, smiling as I went. The not-at-all surprising (happy) ending won't deter fluff fans, I'm sure.
As for food, each chapter was named after a type of candy. This is because Josey keeps a secret stash of chocolate bars and cakes behind a hidden door in her bedroom closet (just ignore the fact that she is in her late twenties--this is not meant to be realistic!), and she pulls them out to soothe her emotions with snacking. She makes friends with the owner of a sandwich bar, and I found myself craving toasted tomato and cheese sandwiches after reading about her grilling them. And there is a memorable scene in a bar that involves a drink called the Lemon Drop, which I think I will replicate soon.
In the end, this was a novel only tenuously related to food or real life, but it's a light, sweet, and simple read for chick-lit readers.
Visit the Kitchen Reader group blog to see everyone else's reviews; the round-up will be posted on 1 August. Our book for next month is Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler, chosen by Anni of anjeme. New members are always welcome.