Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
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 Review: 5 out of 5 stars. If you haven’t picked up a book from Sarah Addison Allen, then I highly suggest that you do so. This is my 3rd book from her and I’ve got 2 more sitting on my Kindle. I’ve already read (and reviewed) Lost Lake and The Girl Who Chased the Moon. And this one did not disappoint. Sarah has a new book releasing soon called First Frost. It happens to be #2 in this series (Garden Spells being the first in the series). I recently had the opportunity to pick up an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) and then I realized that Garden Spells came first. And because I try really hard not to read something out of order, I scoured my Overdrive Library to see if I could find a copy to read before I started on First Frost. Love Love Love! Sarah has the magical, mystical quality to her writing. She creates a world where nothing is impossible. I’m drawn into her writing each and every time. Definitely go pick this one up!