Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garden Spells

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants--from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys--except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down--along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom or with each other.
- from goodreads

Link to

I first found out about Sarah Addison Allen when I read the interesting synopsis of The Girl who Chased the Moon in Kinokuniya. I didn't realise I had this book at home since it was under my mother's pile of unread books. Only after I scrolled through the app I use to keep track of my books did I realise one of her books is sitting under my nose all this while LOL.

The first thing I noticed about this book is the cover - it's beautiful! And girly/sparkly LOL. The cover and the swirly designs for some of the pages rounds up the book theme of magic and romance quite nicely. If you've gathered from the previous post, I don't really read a lot of romance books. But once in a while, I do curl up with a good romance sprinkled with a bit of magic (like The Girl with Glass Feet - this one is such a beautiful, heart-breaking story).

I love the atmosphere of the story. It's filled with warmth and the ups and downs of relationships, be it between sisters, mothers and daughters, friends and of course, between lovers. She managed to create a quirky but lovely world in the small town of Bascom. As I read, her characters grew on me, especially the Waverleys - Claire the talented caterer who embraces her Waverly talents fully, Sydney the girl who wanted to ditch her roots and be normal, Evanelle the quirky cousin who can't resist giving people things. Allen also created what could probably one of the most interesting tree of all time - the apple tree in the Waverley's garden which loves throwing apples at people LOL. I would've loved to meet a tree like that.

Since I'm a sucker for happy ending, this book really did it for me. I think almost everyone got a happy ending LOL. I'm in fact looking forward to reading The Girl who Chased the Moon when it arrives soon!

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