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, 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


10 thoughts on “Garden Spells

  1. says:

    Chicken soup when you re sick Chocolate when you re hormonal Lavender for your bathroom Citrus for the kitchen Pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving Peppermint at Christmas time.This book completely spoke my language that of food and how we are connected to what we serve, eat and order We may not be able to put magic into our cooking, but as a mother I know there are certain things to feed my family for certain reasons, and that can be sort of a form of magic at least to the little child in bed waiting for hot cocoa after being caught in a rain storm.Garden Spells is beautiful Each character of the family has a special gift Either through food, hairstyling, knowing where things go or giving gifts that will be needed in the future, they are all important gifts, but to the characters, sometimes a curse But, in the end, they all figure out how to deal with their gifts and how to come together as a family.Then of course, there is the apple tree that will show you your future that is in their backyard Would I be willing to take a bite of the apple and be prepared for what I saw or should I go through life, accepting each action and moment as it comes


  2. says:

    Yes, this book is definitely reminsicent of Practical Magic in plotline I can t imagine anyone not thinking soa beautiful old house, two magical sisters whose mother died when they were young, one practical and a homebody, the other a wild woman with a daughter who comes back home to escape an abusive man Umsounds familiar Very.BUTThe author creates an amazing atmosphere, and the basics of the plot may be the same, but the details are entirely new and lovely The aunt Evanelle is an absolutely fascinating characternot to mention the wonderful apple tree who wants to share in all the experiences I stayed up late to finish reading this book, and I don t do that often Practical Magic had undertones of darkness and spices, mystery and tragedy Garden Spells instead makes magic beautifully mundanea part of these women s everyday life, and just as difficult but worth dealing with than the marital problems of Emma and her husband Very highly recommendedthe best book I ve read in a long time.


  3. says:

    3.5 Stars I ll keep this review short, and in the spirit of this adorable story sweet Garden Spells offered the perfect magical escape I was searching for The writing was exquisite and the plot enchanting This book did sort of feel like a cross between Practical Magic and Sleeping with the Enemy, as many readers have mentioned, but it certainly offered a unique enough spin in its storytelling The element of magic was handled with care and executed to perfection not too far out there, but solid enough to whisk the reader outside of reality for a while.Although I found the plot fairly predictable, the romance was sweet and gentle and the fact that I knew where the story was heading didn t seem to dampen my enjoyment The lack of angst was refreshing and a nice change from my current string of tension filled reads Recommended for readers in search of a light read who also enjoy a bit of magic in their fiction.


  4. says:

    Posted at Shelf InflictedFor generations, the Waverly family has made their home in Bascom, North Carolina Each of the Waverly women possesses a unique magic which has made them a curiosity in the town, but their oddness also keeps others at a distance Claire is a caterer who uses the enchanted herbs and flowers in her garden to prepare exquisite dishes that affect the eater s feelings Claire s aunt, Evanelle, gives odd and random gifts that she knows the recipient will need in the future Her younger sister, Sydney, has a knack for creating just the right hairstyles for her clients Even Sydney s daughter, Bay, has a special talent for knowing just where something or someone belongs The fun starts when Sydney flees with her daughter from an abusive man and returns to the home she abandoned Claire s quiet life is suddenly thrown in turmoil, and both sisters are forced to deal with their past Claire gradually succumbs to the charms of the man next door, and Sydney finds love with a childhood friend Garden Spells was a light, pleasant, and enchanting romance that was just a little too sweet, sentimental, and predictable for me The men are too good to be true, the villains are stereotypes, and there s very little conflict I loved the big and cantankerous apple tree with a mind of its own that throws apples at unsuspecting victims Not my cup of tea, but should please those readers who like magic, love, and happy endings.


  5. says:

    Garden spells is fun, it reminded me of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman though Both include two sisters who are descendents of a weird, magical family, which is ostracized by the small town s folks that they live next to Also similar to Practical Magic is the violence in one sister s past that she is trying to get away from Magical realism isn t usually a genre that I enjoy, but it seems to work well here My book group at the library chose this, but I am glad I gave it a try.


  6. says:

    So good, I read it twice There is a great sense of place for this book, the imagery is truly enchanting and visceral What I really like about the novel is how grounded in reality it is, making the magic seem entirely plausible in its subtlety The pain and drama of the characters make them three dimensional and completely relatable.I was left with only two questions 1 Is there a sequel to this 2 If not, why the hell isn t there ETA February 2015 There is a sequel Special thanks to Christina to alerting me to this D


  7. says:

    3.5 StarsThe Waverleys of Bascom, North Carolina have always been considered strange by their neighbors, what with Claire s skill in whipping up delectable dishes from flowers with magical attributes, Evanelle s sudden compulsion to give mundane presents that eventually become useful in the near future, and Claire s uncanny ability to choose the hairstyle apropos for the person s situation A decade ago, Sydney ran as far away as she can from Bascom, while Claire stayed home to carry on the family legacy, but when Sydney returns to Bascom to lie low for a while, it will be up to Claire to show Sydney what it means to be finally home as a Waverley It was like the way you wanted sunshine on Saturdays, or pancakes for breakfast They just made you feel good Perfectly sums up the way I feel about Garden Spells Fun and easy to read, this novel thawed my ice box of a heart with its quirky main and secondary characters, scrumptious dishes made from flowers I haven t heard of before, postcard worthy setting, poignant rendering of forgiveness and acceptance, with just the right touch of magic realism.I particularly like the dynamics between Claire and Sydney after meeting for the first time in ten years They re extremely dissimilar, yet drawn to each other as well, which makes their interaction painfully guarded If you have an errant sibling whom you see infrequently, you ll know what I mean.There are two things, though, that could ve been better the romance and the ending I found the romance a tad too cheesy for my taste, but that s just me I guess Not your fault book, I just have a low tolerance for romance nowadays Another is the predictable ending.Overall though, an enjoyable light read, as is usual for Sarah Addison Allen books Her books are my mint sorbet, my palate cleanser, when I m in between weightier or frustrating reads, or to recover from a book slump And that says a lot about Sarah Addison Allen s writing.


  8. says:

    What I learned from this book isif an apple tree throws its apples at you, for goodness sake, pay attention already This book is lovely, magical, enchanting I sat down to read just one chapter, basically to decide whether it was worth holding onto even though it was already overdue At 2 30 a.m I finished the whole darn thing Couldn t stop myself I floated in a state of suspended reality, where time had no meaning.The basic idea of the book two sisters experienced their childhoods very differently Now, as adults, they must come to terms with choices, past and present, and with the unique abilities each woman inherited In Bascom, North Carolina, townsfolk know Claire s garden grows produce with mystical properties, like the honeysuckle wine she makes that lets you see in the dark Sydney has a gift for revealing a person s inner self through a haircut Bay always knows where things belong And whatever Evanelle gives you, no matter how strange, you ll be certain to need before too long.


  9. says:

    It is really difficult for me to find a book that suits me I love stories, and I love to read Since I don t have a lot of time to read, I have to be really picky Which means, if it hasn t grabbed my attention early on, I normally don t continue.When I saw Garden Spells on the shelves in the book store I immediately wanted to read it because of the cover, the title and the blurb I knew for sure that this was a book that I had to read.I was so excited when I sat down and opened the book Perhaps it was the high hopes and expectations I had put on this novel, but I was ready to toss it after the first chapter I complained to my husband and cursed the book, Stupid book But then, I did something uncharacteristic of me with books I gave it another chance.I read on, even struggling a bit with the second chapter Funny thing, I had been right to judge it by its cover, title and blurb, because by the end I had really grown to love the magical world Sarah Addison Allen had created Garden Spells is a fairy tale of sorts with an enchanted apple tree, envy, edible spells, love and a happy ending It turned out to be everything that I had hoped it would be And I learned that you can t judge a book by its first chapter Does three sound fair


  10. says:

    Set in North Carolina, we explore the lives of the Waverly women and their strangeness in a community where everyone has their expectations for the long family lines native to the area The Waverley s have a garden where an enchanted apple tree grows and Claire masterfully creates foods with properties that do than tantalize the taste buds The ideas behind this are great and this first novel for Sarah Addison Allen might be a fun summer read for someone less picky than me While I enjoyed the IDEAS Allen was trying to carry out in the novel and the lovely cover art, I found it predictable and contrived, repetitive and far too much like a heaving breasts romance novel at times I really didn t care for her style of writing.