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Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (2007)


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English (313)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (315)
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
Nice summer read, light, magical, romantic... ( )
  glade1 | Jul 9, 2016 |
A real world contemporary fairy tale with a bit of suspense. Some of the peripheral characters were a little too flat (Emma) or predictable (Fred) and that took some of the magic out of the story for me. I hope the next book in the series focuses more on the sisters and their families. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
The story revolves around two sisters, conservative Claire Waverley and her younger, wilder sister Sydney. Claire lives alone in a beautiful Queen Ann style house that has been in the family for generations. The house has a garden with magical qualities, including an apple tree that bears fruit all year round. If you eat an apple from the tree the greatest event of your life will be revealed. Claire uses ingredients from the garden as part of her catering business. Unfortunately, Claire's culinary talents have given her a reputation for being a little strange, and unless she's doing business with someone, most of the locals keep their distance. Sydney, aware of her family's reputation, fled North Carolina ten years ago. But now, married to an abusive man she decides to return to the only place she has ever felt truly safe, along with her six-year-old daughter. Claire is not the only Waverley who has a reputation for being odd. Her Aunt Evanelle has the ability to predict people's needs and will present them with odd objects like a brooch, or a mango slicer, that will come in especially useful at a later date. Garden Spells is a cute chick-lit novel. It's slightly predictable and the romantic elements are typical and somewhat cliched. If you like magic realism, you'll probably really love this, and if you don't it's still an enjoyable story." ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jun 16, 2016 |
Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen
4 stars
Awwwww. This was such a sweet story. I loved Evanelle. I wish she’d knock on my door to give me something. The apple tree was also a treat.
I found myself liking Claire and Sydney much more than the sisters in Practical Magic. It’s true that they both had relationship problems, but they didn’t seem intent on repeating the same mistakes over and over. It was relaxing to know that all the characters were progressing to a better future.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
A fun blend of magical realism and romance set in a small town in the South, Garden Spells was a delight. This is the first book in what is called the Waverley Family series, and I'm certainly planning to read any subsequent books.

Claire Waverley is a 34-year-old single woman running a catering and baking business specializing in edible flowers and floral flavorings - and the magical effects they can produce. She lives alone in a large Queen Anne that belonged to the grandmother she grew up with, in the fictional small college town of Bascom, North Carolina. Claire's mother abandoned her there along with her six-years-younger sister Sydney, and disappeared. Sydney too left town in imitation of her mother, but comes back at the beginning of this story along with her five-year-old daughter, Bay.

It's not a deep book and is rather predictable (particularly the romance), but the plot is enjoyable and the characters are quirky yet endearing. This was author Sarah Addison Allen's first book, and her others sound interesting to me, too. Susan Ericksen does a fabulous job as the audiobook narrator. I especially liked her voices for Claire's and Sydney's elderly cousin Evanelle (who is compelled to give people things they later find useful), and the evil wealthy Southern matron Ariel Clark.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[This audiobook was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.] ( )
1 vote riofriotex | May 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Addison Allenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Sarah Addisonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ericksen, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mom. I love you.
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Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dreamed of her childhood.
When you're happy for yourself, it fills you. When you're happy for someone else, it pours over.
When you tell a secret to someone, embarrassing or not, it forms a connection.  That person means something to you simply by virtue of what he knows.
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Haiku summary
Flowers have powers,
Family magic runs deep,
This garden sparkles.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553590324, Mass Market Paperback)

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…

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.

Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The Waverleys of Bascom, North Carolina, are a curious family--even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. When Sydney returns home with a daughter of her own, she and her sister Claire must deal with their legacy.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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