- File Size: 1339 KB
- Print Length: 321 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (August 28, 2007)
- Publication Date: August 28, 2007
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000VRBBD2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,756 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Garden Spells: A Novel (Waverly Family Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 321 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“Garden Spells is so tender and enchanting, it drew me in on page one, and held me captivated—without letting me go for even a minute—until the end. I fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen’s writing, and her world. She believes in love, and that’s her magic: She conjures a garden of moon vine and angel’s trumpet, fills it with characters who need each other, and writes so well you’ll never forget any of them.”—Luanne Rice
“Sarah Addison Allen has crafted a wonderful story that will cast a spell on everyone who has the pleasure of reading it. Garden Spells has a harvest of rich characters, a plot that will have you checking what you eat, and a heart that is overflowing with the tangled joys and sorrows of love and life.” —Kris Radish
“Garden Spells is a rare and mesmerizing novel, brimming with light and fierce joy and the sharp shadows that must accompany such a tale. I desperately want to go live in Bascom and fall asleep in the Waverleys’ garden and let the magic and sweetness fill my every hour with its heady sense of possibility. So will you. This is one of the most charming books I’ve read in ages!”—Barbara Samuel
“Garden Spells is truly spellbinding, beautifully crafted and as bewitching as the title suggests. This is Southern charm at its most beguiling, with characters you’ll take to your heart, a delicious love story, and a magical garden you’ll wish was in your own backyard. I devoured it in one sitting and was left eagerly awaiting Sarah Addison Allen’s next novel.”—Eileen Goudge
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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.
I very seldom give five-star reviews.
I cannot begin to find the words to say how much I love Garden Spells and every single thing Sarah Addison Allen has written to date. I'll just mention that First Frost has just been released and it is sort of a sequel about the next generation.
I found Garden Spells in the supermarket. I rarely even look at the books in the supermarket, but I desperately wanted to find something to read. The copy I picked up was a ridiculous $4.99 at a time when most paperbacks were $10.99 or so. Now I own the kindle version.
I adored the description of the story that I read there in the supermarket. Adored it.
Went home and read it that day. I loved it so much that I immediately re-read it. And loved it all over again. I've read it several more times. I was astonished to learn this was her first published novel.
I just can't say enough good things about it. Honestly, I can't.
I’ve come to greatly appreciate the creative mind of Sarah Addison Allen. This is the second book of hers that I have read and I believe I will continue reading more of her material. Seems mystical realism (if that is what it is called) captivates me and soothes my soul.
The book started off with a “Bang” for me and then slowly began to fade. Somewhere along the way, the story became predictable and the character descriptions and unfolding of events lacked the spark that ignited at the beginning of the story. (For this reason, I knocked off one of the stars.)
I loved the character descriptions in this story. Sarah delivered believable characters, rich in descriptions and characteristics that brought them into full view in the minds eye. Each of them were brilliant!
I also loved Sarah’s portrayal of the magic in the garden ... the way the plants come to life and take on their own characteristics as if they're living and responding to their own life force that is in tandem with each of the characters. I wonder ... does my very own garden speak to me in the same manner and I've just never listened or payed attention? Somehow ... I think it does. I will be paying much closer attention ... with all of my senses from here on out! And who doesn’t want an apple tree that bends, rustles leaves and throws apples in order to communicate?! So delightful! ♥
But here’s the thing … this book was a metaphor for me … as all books are, really.
The metaphors were in each of the characters. Sarah has a delightful way of creating interesting people and weaving them into her stories. Here’s what I resonated with in each of the characters;
Claire: The person who craves familiarity, structure and comfort. There’s a method to her ways that keeps her safe and protected. She gets attention and recognized for her creations in the kitchen and as a result, she feels valued and important. After all, she continued a family legacy and made it her own. There’s great satisfaction and comfort in being important enough to have others reach out to you for your gifts and craft … even though it’s the very thing that could be holding her back from living a life in full color that is rich, colorful and juicy.
Sydney: The person who feels the pull to follow in someone’s footsteps … even though it’s misunderstood and extremely uncomfortable. It isn’t until her pain reaches an unbearable threshold that she begins to listen to the calling of her soul. She has a gift … a VERY talented gift that is put on hold or acknowledged simply because an event happened in her life that required ALL of her attention. But … the soul will never let up until it is given permission and power to be lived out in full color. This is the space in the book that reminded me that I can indeed listen to the calling of my soul and trust that it will blossom when the time is right and to never give up on that vision and dream. All in good time ♥
Evanelle: The one who listens to her intuition without trying to reason with it or bring logic into the picture. This woman lives uncompromisingly and true to the stirrings that “Tickle” within. She doesn’t apologize for them or try to comfort those who don’t understand. She just is and owns it! How many of us try to reason with that still, small voice in order to make sense of things, when all along, if we would just love and trust, EVERYTHING will move according to the Divine plan of the Universe. I loved Evanelle for she validated the nudges of my soul and gave me permission to live out loud in full color and determinedly authentically.
Emma: Hate her if you must or … try to understand her and get to know yourself as well. Of all of the characters in this book, she is the most insecure even though she craves power. She does all of the things she was programmed to do and as a result, she really doesn’t know if she is loved and accepted or not. I felt for her in my own way, for I have believed for a very long time in my life that my appearance was all that others saw in me and keeping up my image was a grueling and emotionally taxing façade. Bless her heart, she lived in a state of fear for if she lost the one thing that she really felt she had, who would she be then? I believe there’s a little of Emma in all of us and really, until we all become like Evanelle, we will never truly be free.
This was a delicious and satisfying book. I've been invited to consider new, life giving, ingredients into my cuisine and who knows ... I just may receive the blessings and gifts of them! For now ... I think I'll go bake some zucchini bread and add some Lemon Balm and invite the child within to come to life! Oh how magical!!!
The beginning reads like a cozy mystery or a Hallmark movie. Later, there is sex and some pretty strong language. That didn't bother me (I know some other reviewers did not appreciate it) but I think you should be warned if you are expecting it to stay sweet.
The characters never fully developed. The conflict was pretty weak and the way it is finally "resolved" annoyed me.
I kept reading because the story was okay. I wanted it to be as good as my friend had told it. Unfortunately, it fell short.
I'm not sure if I'd pick up another book by this author. The writing style didn't draw me in, there were very dated references for a book released in 2007 (Someone using a payphone, an actual answering machine, someone calling a cell phone and letting it ring 15 times???), and the only characters I enjoyed were Evanelle (who is minor) and the apple tree.
Top international reviews
It reminded me a lot of the movie "Practical magic", which I love. This is a magical, comforting, quirky read and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I love all the characters and the storyline keeps you hooked and turning the page until you have soaked up every last tidbit. My only complaint is that the book is too short - I wanted more. I immediately ordered The Girl who Chased the Moon & The Sugar Queen and loved those books as well. Waiting for The Peach Keeper now. Sarah Addison Allen is so talented and really knowws how to weave a beautiful novel. I wish her a fast recovery from breast cancer - this is one writer who has lots more stories to tell!
A story of love and loss.
Endings and new beginnings.
The end was abrupt