Authors you should try: Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen became a book club favorite with her debut novel, Garden Spells. Her follow up title, The Sugar Queen, followed suit and it will be no surprise if her latest, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, becomes equally popular.addgarden

Allen writes magical stories of ordinary women with peculiar abilities in recognizable situations. Even though the characters in all her books have unusual personal quirks, readers have no trouble identifying with these women. They are as welcoming as a warm cup of coffee and comfortable as a porch swing.

Their domestic dramas are also familiar. In Garden Spells, the two estranged Waverly sisters, a family of outsiders in their hometown of Bascom, reconnect. Claire and Sydney’s relationship may have a firm foundation of love, but there are acts of betrayal and abandonment the sisters must work through before they find their satisfying endings.

addsugarThe Sugar Queen will appeal to readers everywhere who harbor a secret sweet tooth and a clandestine relationship with romance novels. Josie has found a way to deal with her strained connection with her mother; she hides in her closet with her hidden stash of candy and paperback romances. Then one day she opens her closet door to discover an unexpected inhabitant, tough-luck local waitress Della Lee is hiding from her own difficult life and is determined to talk Josie into a happier existence.

Allen’s latest novel, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, follows the journey of Emily back to her mother’s hometown of Mullaby. Upon her arrival, Emily meets a gentle grandfather she never knew and whom her mother, Dulcie, wouldn’t talk about and townsfolk who rebuke Emily for the long ago sins of a self-absorbed Dulcie.addmoon

Readers love the whimsical way Allen writes her stories of women’s lives and relationships and the charmed personality traits of her characters. One woman has the ability to bestow items of desperate need before a person is aware. Another finds books in unusual places when she needs them most. An additional character can bake cakes that lure people to their destinies.

As fairytale-like as Allen’s stories are, there is something of more substance bubbling below the surface. All of Allen’s novels explore the themes of expectations and acceptance. Book groups will find discussion questions for each novel on Allen’s website, but simply starting conversation with the topics of what each character expects from her life and how each character seeks acceptance from those around her, will fuel a healthy chat for an evening.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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