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Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost : A Novel

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When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of the Waverly family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. The Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

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When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of the Waverly family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. The Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

From the New York Times bestselling author of GARDEN SPELLS comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves...

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies. Though her handcrafted confections-rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds-are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby- a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney's daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to...if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It's where the real story begins.

Specifications

Language
English
Series Title
@generated
Publisher
St. Martin's Press
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
320
Author
Sarah Addison Allen
Title
First Frost - Paperback
ISBN-13
9781250019851
Publication Date
January, 2016
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.25 x 5.51 x 0.89 Inches
ISBN-10
1250019850

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.3)out of 5 stars
5 stars
27
4 stars
26
3 stars
5
2 stars
2
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
I got a copy of this b...
I got a copy of this book to review through the NetGalley. I read Garden Spells back a couple years ago and absolutely adored it. I was so excited when I heard that Allen was writing another book about the Waverly family. This ended up being a spectacular book. I would recommend reading Garden Spells first because it really helps to have all the background on all these characters. I don't think the book will have as much impact if you don't have that background. This story focuses on three women in the Waverly family and is set many years after (I think it was 10 years after) the events in Garden Spells. Claire Waverly has started a new venture that uses the garden magic she is known for, she is running Waverly's Candies now. However things are starting to spin out of control and Waverly's Candies is so successful it is completely taking over her life. Sydney has settled into a happy marriage with Henry and has put her first abusive marriage behind her. Still Sydney is struggling with the fact that she wishes she could have another baby, a baby for her and Henry to call their own and it's just not happening. The character we hear the most from though is Bay, Sydney's daughter. Bay's magical ability is to know where things belong. This ability backfires when she meets a boy at school, Josh Matteson, and knows that they belong together in some way. Unfortunately the Matteson and the Waverly families have history and it's not good history. In addition to all the above a strange man drifts in that is tied to Claire and Sydney's mother's past and he end up causing even more chaos. This book (along with Garden Spells) is often classified as "women's fiction". I guess it kind of is, but is also a beautifully written story with lots of magical realism and some mystery. This story does feature the trials of women in their mid 30's as they struggle with balancing jobs, husbands, kids...and magic. However this book has a bit more of a young adult flavor to it as well because Bay features in the story so much. Bay is dealing with some very normal (and also some not so normal) growing pains, she is 15 years old and still learning who she is. I really love the beautiful writing style throughout the novel. There is excellent imagery here and it really makes the scenes come alive; you can almost smell the candies and taste the autumn in the air. I also love the interactions between these families. There is a lot of conflict here but it is resolved by the characters being supportive and understanding of each other. I love the fact that each of these women has one very specific magical ability that influences her life in a crazy way. While this book does have a more YA tone to it at times, I think a lot of the issues dealt with are ones that grown women will relate to a bit more. Sydney is struggling to raise a girl that is nothing like her and is upset that she isn't able to get pregnant. Claire is excited about the success of her business but concerned by how much time she has to take away from her family to run it. There are other characters that flit in and out of their lives. A character that is close to dying, a character that is trying to recover after betrayal from his partner of many years, a teenage dropout with a baby that is struggling to get her life together, and an old con artist that is sick of conning people but not sure how else to live. I really enjoy how all these life stories weave in and out of the Waverly's lives. Overall this was another fantastic book by Allen. If you loved Garden Spells I think you will really enjoy this book. I would recommend both books to people who enjoy a beautifully written story about women struggling to make it through day to day life...but with the added twist that there is magic in their lives that provides unexpected and crazy influences. This was an excellent read and very hard to put down.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
I was the lucky recipi...
I was the lucky recipient of a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads. Thank you! This book begins roughly 10 years after Garden Spells. I enjoyed that one a bit more, although it was only 3 star rating. This book had a rather predictable storyline, but it was good for a quick, easy read. I enjoy Evanelle's character. I was glad she was still kicking at the end of the book! I enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen's beautiful writing, but the storylines could have been more interesting.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
I got a copy of this b...
I got a copy of this book to review through the NetGalley. I read Garden Spells back a couple years ago and absolutely adored it. I was so excited when I heard that Allen was writing another book about the Waverly family. This ended up being a spectacular book. I would recommend reading Garden Spells first because it really helps to have all the background on all these characters. I don't think the book will have as much impact if you don't have that background. This story focuses on three women in the Waverly family and is set many years after (I think it was 10 years after) the events in Garden Spells. Claire Waverly has started a new venture that uses the garden magic she is known for, she is running Waverly's Candies now. However things are starting to spin out of control and Waverly's Candies is so successful it is completely taking over her life. Sydney has settled into a happy marriage with Henry and has put her first abusive marriage behind her. Still Sydney is struggling with the fact that she wishes she could have another baby, a baby for her and Henry to call their own and it's just not happening. The character we hear the most from though is Bay, Sydney's daughter. Bay's magical ability is to know where things belong. This ability backfires when she meets a boy at school, Josh Matteson, and knows that they belong together in some way. Unfortunately the Matteson and the Waverly families have history and it's not good history. In addition to all the above a strange man drifts in that is tied to Claire and Sydney's mother's past and he end up causing even more chaos. This book (along with Garden Spells) is often classified as "women's fiction". I guess it kind of is, but is also a beautifully written story with lots of magical realism and some mystery. This story does feature the trials of women in their mid 30's as they struggle with balancing jobs, husbands, kids...and magic. However this book has a bit more of a young adult flavor to it as well because Bay features in the story so much. Bay is dealing with some very normal (and also some not so normal) growing pains, she is 15 years old and still learning who she is. I really love the beautiful writing style throughout the novel. There is excellent imagery here and it really makes the scenes come alive; you can almost smell the candies and taste the autumn in the air. I also love the interactions between these families. There is a lot of conflict here but it is resolved by the characters being supportive and understanding of each other. I love the fact that each of these women has one very specific magical ability that influences her life in a crazy way. While this book does have a more YA tone to it at times, I think a lot of the issues dealt with are ones that grown women will relate to a bit more. Sydney is struggling to raise a girl that is nothing like her and is upset that she isn't able to get pregnant. Claire is excited about the success of her business but concerned by how much time she has to take away from her family to run it. There are other characters that flit in and out of their lives. A character that is close to dying, a character that is trying to recover after betrayal from his partner of many years, a teenage dropout with a baby that is struggling to get her life together, and an old con artist that is sick of conning people but not sure how else to live. I really enjoy how all these life stories weave in and out of the Waverly's lives. Overall this was another fantastic book by Allen. If you loved Garden Spells I think you will really enjoy this book. I would recommend both books to people who enjoy a beautifully written story about women struggling to make it through day to day life...but with the added twist that there is magic in their lives that provides unexpected and crazy influences. This was an excellent read and very hard to put down.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
I was the lucky recipi...
I was the lucky recipient of a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads. Thank you! This book begins roughly 10 years after Garden Spells. I enjoyed that one a bit more, although it was only 3 star rating. This book had a rather predictable storyline, but it was good for a quick, easy read. I enjoy Evanelle's character. I was glad she was still kicking at the end of the book! I enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen's beautiful writing, but the storylines could have been more interesting.
I got a copy of this book to review through the NetGalley. I read Garden Spells back a couple years ago and absolutely adored it. I was so excited when I heard that Allen was writing another book about the Waverly family. This ended up being a spectacular book. I would recommend reading Garden Spells first because it really helps to have all the background on all these characters. I don't think the book will have as much impact if you don't have that background. This story focuses on three women in the Waverly family and is set many years after (I think it was 10 years after) the events in Garden Spells. Claire Waverly has started a new venture that uses the garden magic she is known for, she is running Waverly's Candies now. However things are starting to spin out of control and Waverly's Candies is so successful it is completely taking over her life. Sydney has settled into a happy marriage with Henry and has put her first abusive marriage behind her. Still Sydney is struggling with the fact that she wishes she could have another baby, a baby for her and Henry to call their own and it's just not happening. The character we hear the most from though is Bay, Sydney's daughter. Bay's magical ability is to know where things belong. This ability backfires when she meets a boy at school, Josh Matteson, and knows that they belong together in some way. Unfortunately the Matteson and the Waverly families have history and it's not good history. In addition to all the above a strange man drifts in that is tied to Claire and Sydney's mother's past and he end up causing even more chaos. This book (along with Garden Spells) is often classified as "women's fiction". I guess it kind of is, but is also a beautifully written story with lots of magical realism and some mystery. This story does feature the trials of women in their mid 30's as they struggle with balancing jobs, husbands, kids...and magic. However this book has a bit more of a young adult flavor to it as well because Bay features in the story so much. Bay is dealing with some very normal (and also some not so normal) growing pains, she is 15 years old and still learning who she is. I really love the beautiful writing style throughout the novel. There is excellent imagery here and it really makes the scenes come alive; you can almost smell the candies and taste the autumn in the air. I also love the interactions between these families. There is a lot of conflict here but it is resolved by the characters being supportive and understanding of each other. I love the fact that each of these women has one very specific magical ability that influences her life in a crazy way. While this book does have a more YA tone to it at times, I think a lot of the issues dealt with are ones that grown women will relate to a bit more. Sydney is struggling to raise a girl that is nothing like her and is upset that she isn't able to get pregnant. Claire is excited about the success of her business but concerned by how much time she has to take away from her family to run it. There are other characters that flit in and out of their lives. A character that is close to dying, a character that is trying to recover after betrayal from his partner of many years, a teenage dropout with a baby that is struggling to get her life together, and an old con artist that is sick of conning people but not sure how else to live. I really enjoy how all these life stories weave in and out of the Waverly's lives. Overall this was another fantastic book by Allen. If you loved Garden Spells I think you will really enjoy this book. I would recommend both books to people who enjoy a beautifully written story about women struggling to make it through day to day life...but with the added twist that there is magic in their lives that provides unexpected and crazy influences. This was an excellent read and very hard to put down.
I was the lucky recipient of a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads. Thank you! This book begins roughly 10 years after Garden Spells. I enjoyed that one a bit more, although it was only 3 star rating. This book had a rather predictable storyline, but it was good for a quick, easy read. I enjoy Evanelle's character. I was glad she was still kicking at the end of the book! I enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen's beautiful writing, but the storylines could have been more interesting.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 60 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I got a copy of this b...

I got a copy of this book to review through the NetGalley. I read Garden Spells back a couple years ago and absolutely adored it. I was so excited when I heard that Allen was writing another book about the Waverly family. This ended up being a spectacular book. I would recommend reading Garden Spells first because it really helps to have all the background on all these characters. I don't think the book will have as much impact if you don't have that background. This story focuses on three women in the Waverly family and is set many years after (I think it was 10 years after) the events in Garden Spells. Claire Waverly has started a new venture that uses the garden magic she is known for, she is running Waverly's Candies now. However things are starting to spin out of control and Waverly's Candies is so successful it is completely taking over her life. Sydney has settled into a happy marriage with Henry and has put her first abusive marriage behind her. Still Sydney is struggling with the fact that she wishes she could have another baby, a baby for her and Henry to call their own and it's just not happening. The character we hear the most from though is Bay, Sydney's daughter. Bay's magical ability is to know where things belong. This ability backfires when she meets a boy at school, Josh Matteson, and knows that they belong together in some way. Unfortunately the Matteson and the Waverly families have history and it's not good history. In addition to all the above a strange man drifts in that is tied to Claire and Sydney's mother's past and he end up causing even more chaos. This book (along with Garden Spells) is often classified as "women's fiction". I guess it kind of is, but is also a beautifully written story with lots of magical realism and some mystery. This story does feature the trials of women in their mid 30's as they struggle with balancing jobs, husbands, kids...and magic. However this book has a bit more of a young adult flavor to it as well because Bay features in the story so much. Bay is dealing with some very normal (and also some not so normal) growing pains, she is 15 years old and still learning who she is. I really love the beautiful writing style throughout the novel. There is excellent imagery here and it really makes the scenes come alive; you can almost smell the candies and taste the autumn in the air. I also love the interactions between these families. There is a lot of conflict here but it is resolved by the characters being supportive and understanding of each other. I love the fact that each of these women has one very specific magical ability that influences her life in a crazy way. While this book does have a more YA tone to it at times, I think a lot of the issues dealt with are ones that grown women will relate to a bit more. Sydney is struggling to raise a girl that is nothing like her and is upset that she isn't able to get pregnant. Claire is excited about the success of her business but concerned by how much time she has to take away from her family to run it. There are other characters that flit in and out of their lives. A character that is close to dying, a character that is trying to recover after betrayal from his partner of many years, a teenage dropout with a baby that is struggling to get her life together, and an old con artist that is sick of conning people but not sure how else to live. I really enjoy how all these life stories weave in and out of the Waverly's lives. Overall this was another fantastic book by Allen. If you loved Garden Spells I think you will really enjoy this book. I would recommend both books to people who enjoy a beautifully written story about women struggling to make it through day to day life...but with the added twist that there is magic in their lives that provides unexpected and crazy influences. This was an excellent read and very hard to put down.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I adored Garden Spells...

I adored Garden Spells and was delighted to renew my acquaintance with the Waverley family in First Frost. As the first frost approaches, the Waverly women are growing increasingly restless. Claire, who is running a successful candy business, is starting to doubt herself, Sydney is yearning for a baby as her hair gets redder every day, her daughter, fifteen year old Bay, is struggling with unrequited love, and all the while a silver haired stranger is lurking about town. The plot is a little predictable yet it doesn't seem to matter. I enjoyed the hint of mystery, the family drama and the light touch of romance. And of course the story is enhanced by the magical whimsy of the Waverley gifts. Claire's candy evokes happiness and contentment, Sydney's haircuts give people luck, and Bay simply knows where things, and people, belong. Written with warmth and heart, First Frost is an enchanting story of family, forgiveness, acceptance and love. It can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading Garden Spells first.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I loved the first book...

I loved the first book about the Waverly Sister's called Garden Spells and this book is just as good, if not better. It's autumn and Claire, Sydney and even Evaline Waverly are a little on edge waiting and hoping knowing something big is going to happen before first frost when their apple tree blooms for the first time in the year. Of course since it's the Waverly's there's magic - which comes from a very unexpected person, or rather from three unexpected people.Sarah Addison does a superb job of writing about anticipation and about the doubts we all have waiting for that one big thing to happen. She also does an amazing job of connecting the characters in the story and those characters to us, her readers. After reading her stories I am again left feeling more hopeful and open to that special magic that happens when you believe anything is possible.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

What can I say except ...

What can I say except First Frost is just another example of Sarah Addison Allen's writing talent!! I absolutely loved this book and it brought me right back to the memory of when I was first introduced to the Waverly sisters. I love how the author never fails to incorporate a little magic into everything she writes. Her books make me feel uplifted and leave me with that "anything is possible" type of feeling. Her writing always provides us with beautiful quotes from her lyrical and poetic words, and I will never tire of the author's enchanting stories. I highly recommend ALL of Sarah's books to anyone who can appreciate a little magic in their lives and enjoy reading books that leave a smile on your face even after you have closed the back cover. I do recommend that you read Garden Spells first to get the complete story of the sisters. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review such an exceptionally wonderful story!

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I loved the first book...

I loved the first book about the Waverly Sister's called Garden Spells and this book is just as good, if not better. It's autumn and Claire, Sydney and even Evaline Waverly are a little on edge waiting and hoping knowing something big is going to happen before first frost when their apple tree blooms for the first time in the year. Of course since it's the Waverly's there's magic - which comes from a very unexpected person, or rather from three unexpected people.Sarah Addison does a superb job of writing about anticipation and about the doubts we all have waiting for that one big thing to happen. She also does an amazing job of connecting the characters in the story and those characters to us, her readers. After reading her stories I am again left feeling more hopeful and open to that special magic that happens when you believe anything is possible.

Helpful?

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