4 stars · book reviews · magic · magical realism

Review: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

gardenspells

Garden Spells (Waverley Family #1)
by Sarah Addison Allen

officialsynopWelcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The house that’s been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumours of dangerous loves and tragic passions. Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic.

Claire has always clung to the Waverleys’ roots, tending the enchanted soil in the family garden from which she makes her sought-after delicacies – famed and feared for their curious effects. She has everything she thinks she needs – until one day she waked to find a stranger has moved in next door and a vine of ivy has crept into her garden…Claire’s carefully tended life is about to run gloriously out of control.

officialreviewPeople always usually say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But in this book, an apple a day you’ll need a doctor right away! Not that you will get sick when you eat one, but an apple tree that intentionally throws its fruits on you, will likely make you mad, then you would want to consult a specialist.

In this book, I was mystified with Bascom families, each having stories to tell. Clark woman are exceptional in bed, Hopkins men prefer older women, the Mattesons are family oriented and business minded and there’s the Waverley sisters – mysterious, enchanting, magical and of course, beautiful. Each character of the family has a special gift. The older one, Claire has delicious talent in food & wine, but her social skills are a little lacking, as well as her love life. Then Tyler came and her life of routine became unbalanced. Her wild sister Sydney, ran away when they were kids and had been to places and had a lot of experiences similar to their moms’. However, she is exceptional in hair-styling and her daughter Bay, seems to know where things are placed and should go. There was also their distant relative, Evanelle who loves giving gifts that will be needed in the future. As the story unfolds, the sisters figure out how to deal with their gifts and how to reunite as a family.

I would love to acquire such gifts, and wont consider them as a curse, as Sydney Waverley implies. Sydney had been in tumultuous relationships but managed to have a talented daughter, Bay. However, among the Waverley girls, I especially loved Evanelle who just has to give things to people they never knew they needed. I’d like to experience that tingling feeling of giving something to someone and soon, that person will think of me after he or she was able to use that something I gave.

I cannot compare this book to Practical Magic, as other readers have said. I haven’t read that or even watched the film (but I knew it starred Bullock and Kidman). What I loved the most is that, Garden Spells tells about an ordinary family with normal lives and the magic setting isn’t really the kind where a giant beanstalk appears on your backyard and a giant is somehow gazing down on you. No, the magic actually comes from within. It was so surreal and charming. I love this kind of book and this is one I truly enjoyed.

My Rating: 

4cups

officialClaire

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