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Garden Spells Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Abridged edition (5 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469234203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469234205
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 539,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon and The Peach Keeper. She lives in North Carolina, where her novels are set.

You can discover more at www.sarahaddisonallen.com, find Sarah on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sarahaddisonallen, or follow her on Twitter @SarahAddisonAll.

Author photograph credit: Melissa Markis.

Product Description

Review

'Beguiling . . . Weaves a magical spell that enchants you as it draws you in. An absolute gem.' (Now)

'Two gifted sisters draw on their talents to belatedly forge a bond and find their ways in life in Allen's easygoing debut novel. Thirty-four-year-old Claire Waverley manifests her talent in cooking; using edible flowers, Claire creates dishes that affect the eater in curious ways. But not all Waverley women embrace their gifts; some, including Claire's mother, escape the family's eccentric reputation by running away. She abandoned Claire and her sister when they were young. Consequently, Claire has remained close to home, unwilling to open up to new people or experiences. Claire's younger sister, Sydney, however, followed in their mother's footsteps 10 years ago and left for New York, and after a string of abusive, roustabout boyfriends, returns to Bascom, N.C., with her five-year-old daughter, Bay. As Sydney reacquaints herself with old friends and rivals, she discovers her own Waverley magic. Claire, in turn, begins to open up to her sister and in the process learns how to welcom (Publishers Weekly)

'This compelling book has it all - passion, romance and sibling rivalry. This is Sarah Addison Allen's first novel - she's definitely one to watch.' (My Weekly)

'Spellbindingly charming, Allen's impressively accomplished debut novel will bewitch fans of Alice Hoffman and Laura Esquivel, as her entrancing brand of magic realism nimbly blends the evanescent desires of hopeless romantics with the inherent wariness of those who have been hurt once too often.' (Booklist)

'This magical tale is charming, and has wicked undertones' (Telegraph) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A magical, utterly delicious debut that will cast its charm over everyone who loved Chocolat or Fried Green Tomatoes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Johnstone on 4 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is such a treat to read. Allen writes with such beauty and intrigue. Its so mystical, yet completely believable. The reader gets carried into the the wonderful world of Claire Waverley's garden, in North Carolina and you really can believe you are there, however you feel a sense of loss when you finish the book as you just want to keep on reading! Totally Enchanting!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Siobhanrodgers on 28 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one sitting so I suppose that says something... The story carries along nicely, and there is a sense of place, I could feel the heat and smell the garden. But it's too like "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman... I kept expecting another old aunt, and wondering why the characters had names that weren't Sally and Gillian! And then it doesn't have the subtle magical quality Hoffman has, the magic is there but its all too in-your-face for my liking, apple trees all but talking, a list of spell ingredients in the back... It's a good book to fill in a gap whilst I wait for Hoffmans' latest. I do recommend it but read "Practical Magic" and maybe a few others by Hoffman too, ("The Probable Future" has the same "witchy" feel) and yes as the publishers describe it do read "Chocolat" by Joanne Harris as well.
It's a good start and I look forward to Miss Addison Allen developing her own style in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Louise Amkaer on 18 April 2010
Format: Paperback
"Garden Spells" definitely builds on the wonderful legacy of Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic", but it has it's own flavour.

Claire lived in the Waverly house, taking care of the blooming garden and her catering business, when a man moves in next door - and he takes interest in her; and Claire's estranged sister, Sidney and her daughter Bay show up on Claire's doorstep. What follows is a tale of accepting the past, one's self, and the opportunities that arise when we least expect them.

Magic plays a role in the story in a subtle, realistic way. Sometimes it is just the gossip and superstition of a small town i.e. that family is strange, the men of that family die/marry young. It is the always blooming garden and the strange apple tree. It is knowledge of herbology and cooking. It is the belief that things happen that we cannot explain, but that the universe around us has its ideas.

This is a magical story, excellent for both a holiday by the pool or a day on the couch when it's raining.

Louise.

P.S. My "only" 3 stars is due to the close resemblance to "Practical Magic".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eleni TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely little book that is light and easy to read.

In a small town in North Carolina, people have their own myths and superstitions, and each family its own characteristics that pass from generation to generation. Particularly, the Waverley women are known for their magical garden where everything grows wild regardless of the season, and their special apple tree which tells the future. Each generation of Waverley women has to find a way to cope with the family's magical inheritance and the way the town treats them. Claire clings to this magic, keeps to herself, tends the garden, and although the enchanted delicacies of her catering company are very popular in the town, she lives as a recluse and doesn't let anyone in. Sydney, on the other hand, had her heart broken, trying to fit in and escape being a Waverley, so she run away after graduation and tried to become someone else. When Sydney returns with her daughter to the safety of her home, the two sisters have to understand each other, accept their uniqueness, and come to terms with their roots in order to find love and happiness.

This coming of age story is well written, with nice descriptions and well developed characters. Although the idea is very original, I found the plot a little predictable and perhaps a little underdeveloped. The descriptions were beautiful, but sadly I didn't really see, smell, and feel the garden as much as I would like. Also, I wish there were some recipes for the dishes Claire prepared with edible flowers from the magical garden, as they sound interesting, but they just don't seem real.

The book also includes a fascinating section with notes on the edible flowers "From the Waverley Kitchen Journal".
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GARDEN SPELLS was a delightful read. It is about two sisters; Claire and Sydney Waverley. They come from Bascom, North Carolina, where everybody knows that the Waverley women have something about them. One thing is the garden to their grandmother's house: it flowers all year long and the apple tree is something of a legend; if you eat an apple from it, rumour says that you will see the most significant event of your life.
As the town caterer, Claire has stayed in the small town, taking over her grandmother's house. Her life is how she likes it with an order and a sense of control to help her feel safe.
Sydney, on the other hand, left Bascom without letting even her sister know where she was, or how she was. After ten years of staying away, Sydney finally returns to Bascom, seeking her own kind of safety within the small town.
After their arrival, Claire senses that her life is no longer as safe as before they arrived. And although Claire is able to provide a little magic and help for the other people living around her, she seems unable to claim any of that magic for herself.
But, will things change? Can they change. . ?

GARDEN SPELLS reminded me of CHOCOLAT by Joanne Harris. But, instead of the main female character using chocolate to weave magic spells for the people that came to her looking for some kind of solace in their life, here Claire makes use of the continually flowering plants from her garden.
If you suspend belief, perhaps, and allow yourself to be carried away by this wonderful piece of literature, you will be in for a magical and delightful summer read.
Recommeded to those who want a little magic in their life and best read out in your own garden.
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