Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Magical Realism
Pages: 290 pages (eReader)
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The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.My Rating:
For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother's unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town's constraints. ... Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. ...
As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney's child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.
After I read and reviewed The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (review here), I received so many comments recommending Garden Spells. I had already read The Peach Keeper (review here) so I it didn't take much convincing. I'm so glad that Garden Spells did not disappoint. I love the magic that Ms. Allen introduces in her books. There's enough to get the reader drawn into a fantastical whimsical world. Yet, she always manages to make it seem so real and possible. I also love the characters in this book. The Waverly women--Claire, Sydney, Evanelle, and Bay--are all unique in their abilities and how they handle them. Evanelle just might be my favorite character here though I love them all. I found her so funny and sweet. I couldn't wait to see what she would find herself doing next. This is a story that tackles some major issues such as child abandonment and domestic violence, but the book doesn't really feel like it is about that. For me this was a story about family, hope, and accepting one's self. Oh and there were some sweet guys thrown in. If you haven't given Sarah Addison Allen a try, you are missing out.