The large home on Pendland Street has always belonged to the Waverley family, and the garden behind it has always been the domain of the Waverley women. The lone apple tree drops magical fruit, and the herbs and flowers are known to affect in strange ways any who eat them.
Claire Waverley has been the home’s only occupant for 10 years, and has built a life around her successful catering company and a solid sense of control and routine. But her wayward sister’s return to Bascom throws Claire’s order into chaos, and the old Waverley magic begins to assert itself in all kinds of strange and exciting ways.
Can Claire avoid the future to which her family’s magic seems to be pushing her? Can her sister Sydney find safety and make a new life for herself and her daughter? And will the apple tree ever stop dropping hints?
All kinds of wonderful
I’ve read a couple of Sarah Addison Allen’s other books — The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased the Moon — and love their mix of magic and sweet romance. Garden Spells continues that tradition.
As in every other Allen novel I’ve read, the magical aspects are not unusual, but rather just part of the book’s world. It can be a little strange at first if you’re not expecting it, but go with the flow and it’ll pull you in and set you down somewhere lovely.
One of the things I like most about Garden Spells is that just about everyone is Bascom is magical in some way or another. Claire’s cousin Evanelle has the gift of anticipation (giving Claire a lighter the day before she needs it, and a new set of sheets just before Claire’s sister arrives in town), Clark women are notorious for being great in bed, Hopkins men marry older women, etc. Most of the plot points are a result of the interactions of these gifts.
The story is lighthearted and dark by turns, with great characters, dashes of romance, and plenty of talk about food. Another great novel by a great writer.
Okay, I’m officially hooked. Which Allen novel should I read next?