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4.1 out of 5 stars
Garden Spells
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2008
"Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen is a romantic, practical fantastical book.

The Waverley family has long been the odd ball family in town, their apple tree that grows in their yard is a legend and if you eat one of the apples from the tree you will see a pivotal future event in your life. Some see when and how they die others see their future love. The tree tries to be part of the family by throwing apples at the family members and moving things with its branches, but no one seems to appreciate the tree except for one or two members of the Waverley family throughout the tree's history.

Claire Waverley is the sister that stayed in Bascom, North Carolina since her mother abandoned her there with her baby sister when Claire was six years old. Claire is now thirty-four years old and runs a successful catering business. Her sister Sydney reappears after a long absence with her daughter in tow. Sydney has escaped an abusive relationship and is trying to find refuge for herself, but mostly for her daughter. Her sister takes her in and they develop a stronger bond then they had when they were youngsters.

Claire is able to weave magic with her food and influence people's moods by serving them certain culinary delights. A life of order and predictability is what Claire lives and loves. A handsome professor buys the house next to Claire's and falls hopelessly in love with Claire, but Claire is resistant to his advances and the love story that unfolds is charming and maybe a slight cheesy.

There are a lot of side characters, my favorite being the seventy-nine year old Evanelle who has a compulsion to give people the weirdest items. The items she gives people always play a pivotal role in their lives if they choose to keep the item.

"Garden Spells" is a light book full of romance and good guys and bad guys your mother would want you to date or not to date. I found the first half of the book enchanting, the third quarter got a bit cheesy and tiring, but the last quarter finished off nicely. A definite chic book and it may appeal to foodies due to Claire's culinary life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2010
I read a lot so I do not say this lightly that this is the best book I have ever read.I just finished it and it has left me wanting more.. You will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2008
Garden Spells is very well written. I love this book from first page till the end, I think about this book long after I finish. And I ordered " sugar queen" right the way, the newest book.
this story is very positive, how good life can be if we willing to enjoy and go beyond.
How changes unfold to something positive. And there's magic in this story too.
It's easy read, strong characters and great story line. Give it a try, really good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2009
I picked this book up because I enjoyed "Practical Magic." This book captivated me from beginning to end. The magic is subtle and the characters are beautifully written. This is a charming little book that will put you under its spell!
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on January 17, 2012
I needed something nice, lite, and magical. This did it, it was such a great mix of magic and botany and lovelyness. I was sad when it ended. If you want to enjoy a nice story with hints of magic, this is it. LOVED IT.
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on August 4, 2015
This author knows how to enchant books! Sarah pulls you in with every word and every description. Sequel is excellent as well. I have read all of her books and would recommend all of them! This was my favourite!!
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on May 8, 2015
I read this book for book club. It is supposed to be our food book, but not much inspiration here. Also bought it on Kindle because our local library didn't have enough copies. A waste of money
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on October 21, 2014
Wonderful fun book and accurate in regards to edible plants. I enjoyed this story and recommend to anyone looking for an easy and different read.
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on January 19, 2013
Love this book and have found a favourite new author. A very pleasant read and will definetly order more of her books.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2011
This book was recommended by a friend. It did not disappoint! It was like laying on a light fluffy cloud, with birds chirping and a nice breeze with a warm sun. Just light and fresh. I loved the whimsy of it all. The quirkyness of the different families, their trials and tribulations. Certainly not a deep plot but the characters were so well done that it didn't matter. Each character was so well written, it was hard not to love them all in their own ways. The only thing I did not like about this book was that it was too short. I could have read hundreds of more pages and was disappointed to find out that Sugar Queen was a whole new tale, not a continuation with the same characters. Maybe one day the author will continue their stories? Can always hope I guess. A very touching, satisfying read.
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