Sep 4, 2015

Recent Reads: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Series:Waverly Family #1
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date:  August 2007


Format: Hardback
Source: Local Library



Goodreads Synopsis: 
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.

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. Using her grandmother's mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business -- and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life -- upon the family's peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. With Sydney's homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire's own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

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. 

Since I started blogging I haven't really read many adult books, but my library was doing a summer reading challenge and I felt it was time to leave the warm a fuzzy place of YA and MG books. I am so glad that I did. Garden Spells has been on my radar for a little while, I had heard about it in passing and when I saw it on the list of books for the challenge I was happy to pick it up. Little did I know that I wouldn't want to put it back down.

Garden Spells is a magical story about two sisters and their lives as they come back together after a long time past. They have both changed and they both need each other to grow any more. I really liked that aspect of the book - sister secrets, rivalry, realization that you are more alike than you thought.  One sister is a planner, the other a wild one and together they balance one another but only so much can be done with a magical apple tree throwing things. That is where this book really had me hooked - yes the sisterly bonding was fun, and the relationships in the town were interesting but a lot of that had to do with the magic that the Waverley family seems to bring with it, including but not limited to the crazy tree.

I really enjoyed this book and this new to me author and hope to read more by her very soon.


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