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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
The Sugar Ticket by Susan Jean Ricci is the story of twice divorced Cindy and Jay, in their fifties, their marriage and all the fun, dramas and traumas of their new lives together. A bit like middle aged adolescents in their approach to life, but with the added wisdom of the years, the book explores how their relationship began and develops into the best kind of deep friendship and love that they had both always wanted. But Cindy discovers that the past can resurface and cause ripples in the present. Secrets, old habits, and insecurities intrude into the couple’s happy, settled, fun and often hilarious daily life.
Susan Jean Ricci is an excellent writer and knows how to tell a fun and entertaining story. The Sugar Ticket is both thought-provoking and hilariously laugh-out-loud. The plot moves at a good pace and the story is told from Cindy’s point of view so we get right into the main character’s head. Just enough background about the characters is given at the start, and then Cindy and Jay’s story unfolds. Straight away I really liked Cindy with her sense of fun and the philosophical approach to life that developed out of her life experiences. I love the way she feels spirits (or her Lenape spirits as she calls them) watch over her. I liked the way the story recounts the everyday along with the highlights of their married lives.
The Sugar Ticket explores relationships and how past experiences can cause us to repeat patterns and develop set ways of thinking, and how liberating (and scary) it may be to finally break free from these to be our true selves. The happiness, understanding, and tolerance that Cindy and Jay have in their relationship is the result of their new understanding of themselves and what matters most in life: “the sweetness of your present when you alleviate the sour taste of the past.” With lots of heartfelt glimpses of aspects of real life (Cindy’s responsibility for her mentally ill and learning disabled brother for example), The Sugar Ticket is a mixture of comedy and observation that will entertain from the start to the twist of an ending.