- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (9 Aug. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340935723
- ISBN-13: 978-0340935729
- Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.7 x 2.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Garden Spells Hardcover – 9 Aug 2007
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'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)
A magical, utterly delicious debut that will cast its charm over everyone who loved Chocolat or Fried Green Tomatoes.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Claire takes ingredients from her gardening to make food that affects the eater, unfortunately this makes her seem quite odd to the locals. But, its not just Claire that seems rather strange. Enter Claire's aunt Evanelle who predicts peoples needs, they may not know at the time she gives them things why they would need it but, it soon becomes clear later.
And then there is Sydney, she left Bascom (where Claire lives) many years ago but, returns after leaving a very abusive boyfriend and brings with her her six year old daughter Bay and Bascom is the one place Sydney feels safe but, he comes looking for her only Sydney is known to him as a different name.
I loved this book it kinds of has a feel of Joanne Harris novels to this so if you love her books I think you will love this the characters are brilliant and with a nice storyline beautifully told with lots of magic and a touch of humour.
The cover of this book is gorgeous and it feels like a precious gift that's there for the reader to open. That is how all Sarah Addison Allen's books feel to me. I enjoyed reading this story very much. Sydney and Claire both have issues with their past. Their mother left them with their grandmother and she never returned. While the sisters are becoming close things are slowly changing for the better. Claire's magic is in her food. I loved reading about it, it gave the book such a cozy and delicious atmosphere. Sydney has to discover her own kind of magic and it's fabulous to witness the process of finding out. Garden Spells is amazing. It's a wonderful fairytale about two great sisters who deserve so much more than what they have at the beginning of the book. I loved it and Sarah Addison Allen definitely possesses some magic of her own as she's able to write the most beautiful stories.
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.
P.S. My "only" 3 stars is due to the close resemblance to "Practical Magic".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A light read of pure escapism. Kind of a fairy tale for grown ups. Although if you are slightly cynical and don't like fluffy reads or suspending your beliefs then avoid like the... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Mrs Rebecca Carter
It's mad, but I'm reading this after a back to back Stephen King marathon and I needed something lighthearted and fluffy, boy did this deliver. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Byronsstory
Ive just finished reading this beautiful book Im now a fan and off to buy every book of Sarah Addison Allen xPublished 2 months ago by Janine Wiggins
One of those books you keep sneaking away from the family to read. A magical story that feeds your inner outsider.Published 3 months ago by C.E. Medford
What an amazing find...Didnt know if I would like or not but every chapter was pure joy to read and was so easy to read the entire thing in a day and half! Read morePublished 7 months ago by pookie
An enchanting, quirky and magical read. I liked the southern charm that came across in the story, from the homemade cooking laden with magic spells to a story of love and fate. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mystified