Sunday, July 15, 2018

Review: Garden Spells by: Sarah Addison Allen

Title: Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Waverley Family #1
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library


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.

My Thoughts:  

This book follows sisters Claire and Sydney who are reunited after Sydney has spent along time away from Bascom.  Sydney arrives with her daughter Bay after leaving a horrible relationship in the hopes of finding happiness.  Claire is so used to people leaving she isn't sure what to make of the arrival of her sister and her niece.  Then there is Taylor the young man from the nearby college who is working and living right next door and feels a deep connection to Claire even though Claire fights it.

This book was great with some interesting characters and the girls learn alot about each other and their family as they bond together and see how their mother's lifestyle impacted both of them so drastically.  Sydney always on the run and Claire afraid to let anyone near her because everyone leaves.

Will the girls find their happiness or will someone come to destroy it.  So much happens in this book it's like visiting practical magic all over again with the concoctions and relationships.  Definitely a fabulous read and one you won't want to give up at all!

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