Title: Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Published: August 28 2007
When everything in one’s life is a constant, and one lives life in the normalcy of routines, it can be a very painful procedure to be ripped from this system. Claire Waverly has spent most of her life in Bascom, North Carolina, living off of the family legacy: that of the flowers and herbs that grace the soils of the family backyard, watched over by the ever knowing apple tree. ‘All the locals knew that dishes made from the flowers which grew around the apple tree in the Waverly garden could affect the eater in curious ways… The fried dandelion buds over marigold-petal rice, stuffed blossoms, and rose-hip soup…’
But when her run away sister Sydney comes back after 10 years in the wind with her five-year old daughter Bay, when a new and handsome artist moves into the house next door and when ivy begins to grow on the outskirts of her garden, it’s all Claire can do not to break down in hysterics. Her life as she can control it is crumbling apart in a glorious tumble of leaves!
After recently having been focusing on some more serious novels by the ever impressing John Grisham, I realized how much I forgot I loved fun-going simple books with the ever entertaining ting of magic in the pages. And this book brought me right back to this genre. It allows for a YA/adult allure to the mystery and fantasy that comes with magical fiction. I’m not talking about fairies and witches, more like legacy and myth. It’s a story line unique to this writer and did I mention how I love how she brings magic into food! Now that is something I immediately wanted to hear about!
All the characters are just so great. To be honest, at first I got the impression that the boy next door was… well I won’t spoil it for you but he didn’t turn out to be the person I thought he was. IN A GOOD WAY! The Waverly family is absolutely fantastic to read about, so loving and charitable and so comfortable in embracing their individuality, or as the locals call it, their weirdness. They know who they are in their hearts and that’s what’s important to them (which happens to be a lesson I believe we could all take from this family). The boys in the story are the romantic, chivalrous and desperately in love characters which I didn’t realized I had missed so much! Even the apple tree which turns out to be a main protagonist, has a character and personality all of its own, but you’ll just have to read to find out what I mean by that.
The story is very gripping as each chapter ends in such a way (I can’t even explain it) that you can’t help but want to read the next one, and the next…and the next. And I didn’t even know that there existed that many flowers in the world! I learned the names of all kinds of buds and roses and I have to be honest that some of those names had me right on google!
I know this isn’t a ‘new-release’ but as some of you may have realized, I tend to try to bring back to the limelight some of the not so new books which may have been forgotten but are definitely worth finding. Garden Spells is one of them! I recommend it with a glowing 4 out of 5!
Have a great one guys! xx