Sarah Addison Allen has become my top comfort-author and I know I’m not alone in this. I also take great joie-de-viver from Austen or Wodehouse, but as good as they are, Addison Allen has more of a quick-fix to her. Like a big caramel brownie vs. a glass of exquisite red wine.

There is a definite “sameness” to all her books but somehow that’s not a bad thing. How can it, if they deliver? Every. Single. Time. There’s always family feuds, skeletons in the closet and the feel-good environment of the clichéd small Southern town. (Actually, from my experience living in the American South, there’s a lot of truth to the Small Southern Town myth. When it comes to kindness to strangers, they beat every other place I’ve been –  a special wink to Marietta, GA.)

There’s also romance of course, but refreshingly, it’s not an end in itself. The touches of  fantasy are never enough for me to put Sarah Addison Allen’s book in my “fantasy” or “magical realism” mental filing cabinets. They come across as facts of life, accepted naturally by these communities, and I don’t remember any other author who does that, except perhaps Garcia Marquez in 100 Years of Solitude (is this comparison blasphemy?).

And there’s food! I wish Sarah Addison Allen would write a recipe book. I would proudly put it next to my other favorite Southern cookbooks: “Cornbread Nation”, “Mary Mac’s Tea Room” (oh how I miss your peach cobbler!) and “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea”.

I didn’t described the actual plot, but trust me: it’s less important than the general feeling the book leaves you with.

*Alex hums Georgia on my Mind*

 ***

Other thoughts: My Reading Books, The Adventure of an Intrepid Reader, Angieville, write meg!, Lit and Life (yours?)

Advertisements