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Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells : A Novel

Average Rating:out of 5 stars
Walmart # 569132326
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In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.... <br /> <b><br /></b>The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures. <p></p>A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants--from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys--except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before. <p></p>When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down--along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy--if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom--or with each other. <p></p>Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own....

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In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it....

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants--from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys--except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down--along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy--if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom--or with each other.

Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own....In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other.

Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….

Specifications

Series Title
Waverly Family
Publisher
Random House Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
320
Author
Sarah Addison Allen
Title
Garden Spells
ISBN-13
9780553384833
Publication Date
April, 2008
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.24 x 5.45 x 0.65 Inches
ISBN-10
055338483X

Customer reviews & ratings

Average Rating:(4.2)out of 5 stars
5 stars
84
4 stars
91
3 stars
24
2 stars
6
1 star
5
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
When I hit the last pa...
When I hit the last page, I immediately started reading this one all over. It is that good. This is a story of sisters, of reconciliation, of finding where you belong, of making peace with your past and embracing your future. It is also a story of magic and fate. The Waverly women have odd gifts that set them apart from the rest of their small town. Claire settles into the security of the old home, and is determined never to leave and never to trust the permanence of relationships. Sydney has chased the excitement of the open road, lied and stolen her way from coast to coast, and never known what it is to be loved. Bay knows where things belong, and she can't understand why her mother doesn't see as clearly as she does where they should be. Cousin Evanelle worries about others and doesn't realize how lonely she herself is. The characters are delicately drawn and live and breathe. The magic is subtle and quirky. The romance is warm, wonderful, and sometimes sets small fires. Magic doesn't solve all the problems - in fact it causes some. The characters are not perfect, and they deny, run, twist and turn trying to escape what fate has in store. This books is so worth your time.
Most helpful negative review
2 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(1.0)out of 5 stars
Glad I didnt pay for ...
Glad I didn't pay for this one. Makes me wish we could rate by negative stars. Or at least by black holes.
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
When I hit the last pa...
When I hit the last page, I immediately started reading this one all over. It is that good. This is a story of sisters, of reconciliation, of finding where you belong, of making peace with your past and embracing your future. It is also a story of magic and fate. The Waverly women have odd gifts that set them apart from the rest of their small town. Claire settles into the security of the old home, and is determined never to leave and never to trust the permanence of relationships. Sydney has chased the excitement of the open road, lied and stolen her way from coast to coast, and never known what it is to be loved. Bay knows where things belong, and she can't understand why her mother doesn't see as clearly as she does where they should be. Cousin Evanelle worries about others and doesn't realize how lonely she herself is. The characters are delicately drawn and live and breathe. The magic is subtle and quirky. The romance is warm, wonderful, and sometimes sets small fires. Magic doesn't solve all the problems - in fact it causes some. The characters are not perfect, and they deny, run, twist and turn trying to escape what fate has in store. This books is so worth your time.
Most helpful negative review
2 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(1.0)out of 5 stars
Glad I didnt pay for ...
Glad I didn't pay for this one. Makes me wish we could rate by negative stars. Or at least by black holes.
When I hit the last page, I immediately started reading this one all over. It is that good. This is a story of sisters, of reconciliation, of finding where you belong, of making peace with your past and embracing your future. It is also a story of magic and fate. The Waverly women have odd gifts that set them apart from the rest of their small town. Claire settles into the security of the old home, and is determined never to leave and never to trust the permanence of relationships. Sydney has chased the excitement of the open road, lied and stolen her way from coast to coast, and never known what it is to be loved. Bay knows where things belong, and she can't understand why her mother doesn't see as clearly as she does where they should be. Cousin Evanelle worries about others and doesn't realize how lonely she herself is. The characters are delicately drawn and live and breathe. The magic is subtle and quirky. The romance is warm, wonderful, and sometimes sets small fires. Magic doesn't solve all the problems - in fact it causes some. The characters are not perfect, and they deny, run, twist and turn trying to escape what fate has in store. This books is so worth your time.
Glad I didn't pay for this one. Makes me wish we could rate by negative stars. Or at least by black holes.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 210 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

When I hit the last pa...

When I hit the last page, I immediately started reading this one all over. It is that good. This is a story of sisters, of reconciliation, of finding where you belong, of making peace with your past and embracing your future. It is also a story of magic and fate. The Waverly women have odd gifts that set them apart from the rest of their small town. Claire settles into the security of the old home, and is determined never to leave and never to trust the permanence of relationships. Sydney has chased the excitement of the open road, lied and stolen her way from coast to coast, and never known what it is to be loved. Bay knows where things belong, and she can't understand why her mother doesn't see as clearly as she does where they should be. Cousin Evanelle worries about others and doesn't realize how lonely she herself is. The characters are delicately drawn and live and breathe. The magic is subtle and quirky. The romance is warm, wonderful, and sometimes sets small fires. Magic doesn't solve all the problems - in fact it causes some. The characters are not perfect, and they deny, run, twist and turn trying to escape what fate has in store. This books is so worth your time.

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

A modern fairy tale se...

A modern fairy tale set in North Carolina. 2 sisters Claire and Sydney Waverley who come to terms with their troubled pasts. Claire owns her own catering buisness and Sdyney is the mother of 6 year old Bay. At the center of this tale is an apple tree. What makes the apple tree special is that the apples are prophetic. An absolute enchanting story that keeps the readers hooked up to the end. Only thing that bothered me was that it ended way to quick.

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

Good story, you could ...

Good story, you could feel the humidity in the air and smell the fresh flowers just reading this one. It took me a chapter or so to get into it but I really enjoyed it once I did. The story was just very charming.

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

I listened to this boo...

I listened to this book on audio. I picked it out because it sounded interesting, magical, and had gotten wonderful reviews. I am very glad I listened to it; it was a wonderful book unlike anything I have read before. The Waverly family has magic. There are two sisters; Claire can make people feel things with the flowers she uses in her cooking and Sydney can make your hair look better than it ever has. Sydney's daughter, Bay, knows where things below and where they should be. Evelyn, an older cousin to the sisters, knows when people need will need something and gives people strange things that they do eventually need. It is mostly passive magic and is subtly woven in throughout the story. The bigger part of the story deals with these women and their lives, as well as their quest to find happiness. Claire is set in her way and doesn't want to change for anything or anyone, least of all for a man. When Sydney arrives with Bay in tow, fleeing an abusive husband, Claire's routine is sent askew. Claire's nice life is further disrupted when her neighbor claims he is in love with her and tries to win her heart. Oh and let's not forget the magical apple tree that keeps secrets of its own. This was a beautiful book, there is no other way to describe it. It is written in such a way that you can smell the flowers and see their beauty; the description is wonderful. The characters are beautiful too; they are flawed but always striving to obtain happiness and do the best that they can to make others happy. I wasn't sure if I would like this book. It seems more aimed at middle-aged women than anything else. Even though the women involved are older, I grew to love them and the grace with which they struggled through life. There is quite a bit about love in this book, not exactly romance, but love between family members, mother-daughter, and about finding new love. The book has a light sense of humor throughout and really tugged at my emotions. Sometimes I found myself laughing out loud, sometimes angry, and sometimes almost in tears. It takes a great writer who can write engaging characters to evoke all those emotions in a reader and Allen suceeded at this. You'll love the complex, intelligent women in this book. You'll cherish the struggles they go through; you'll read about how wonderful life can be when you strive to make it so. The actual magic in this book is subtle but definitely one of the driving influences in these women's lives. There is even more magic in the every day struggles the characters go through both with their personal issues and their past histories. Loved this book. Different from what I normally read and aimed at an older female audience. Still I think many people will enjoy this book; there is a lot of subtle magic here, beautiful description, and it ends happily. Definitely a feel-good book. I will most likely check out some other works by Laura Addison Allen when I get the chance.

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

This is such a beautif...

This is such a beautifully written story! The writing is absolutely exquisite hitting all the right emotion. It left me crying, laughing, sighing, and melting with desire. One of the best books I've read! The story is sad, uplifting, and strong but all the while, it brought out old memories and made you want to build new memories with all the right recipe.

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