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 BOOK REVIEW:
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was the first novel that I’ve read by her and it was such a wonderful and magical story. Kind of reminds me of that old movie entitled “Practical Magic” starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. Well it’s not the same story but the whole concept of old magical spells, and a small town community was somewhat a bit similar. Anyway, I’m usually not keen on reading novels in which its genre is all about magical realism. But I must say, the book was definitely amazing.
Furthermore, it’s the kind of tale that emphasizes the importance of having one’s family to support you through thick and thin. And that’s what the characters of Claire and Sydney have shown its readers – the value of being supportive and loving to one another, and even though that their childhood days was a bit tough, and as sisters, there was some kind of strain into their relationship. But time has shown them the importance of sisterhood, and giving love a chance to be a part of their lives.
Well speaking of romance, which was more like a secondary theme into story, was such a giddy and additional treat in the novel especially when it gets to the part about Claire and Tyler’s not so unusual love story.
Moreover, the author has written it in a style that’s entirely simple and catchy for its readers.
Then as I’ve already written, it’s a story that deals with something in the world of fantasy and magical realism; like the moving apple tree, and what would happen to that person when he/she would try to take a bite of the apple from that particular tree. Plus including its strange community!
Another thing that I’ve also observed as a reader was that the story seems so real that things like that could happen. However, after reading the whole the book, it just got me thinking, “Hey, it’s just a story but how nice it would be if it can happen in real life!”
And I tell you guys, this novel will truly make you fall in love of its author Sarah Addison Allen, and would entice you to read the rest of her books!
Well that’s it for now. Till me next book review.
Thank you so much for reading! 🙂