ISBN-13: 9780553385885
Publisher: Bantam Books
Published: April 2008

First line: Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dreamed of her childhood.

Claire Waverley lives in a beautiful Queen Ann style house in Bascom, North Carolina. It has been occupied by the Waverley family for generations. It has a beautiful garden and the plants they grow have magical quanlities in them. Amongst all, the most magical one has to be the apple tree because not only it bears fruit all year round, but it is known to the Waverley that whoever eats the apple from that tree will see the biggest events in their life.

Besides using some of the plants for her dishes, Claire devotes most of her time to her catering business. She will include these plants as part of an ingredient into her dishes, depending on her clients' needs or preferences. For example, honeysuckle enables one to see in the dark, pansy encourages the eater to give compliments and surprise gifts, while the rose geranium produces memories of past good times.

Alas, just when she thinks her life is quiet and peaceful, Tyler Hughes walks into her life. She only realizes he is her neighbour after a short introduction when she catered for a party event at Orion college. Tyler Hughes is an arts professor and he told her he had moved into Bascom for a year since he took up the teaching position. Though intrigued with him, Claire does not bother to know more about him, after all she is not an extrovert. And most Bascom residents think the Waverley members are different and a little weird anyway.

Then things just got more complicated when she finds Sydney, her sister back into her life since she had walked out of the family and left Bascom ten years ago. Tagging along with her is her five-year-old daughter, Bay. They are on the run from Sydney's abusive husband and she knew home would be the safest place. Claire knew Sydney is not particularly happy being a Waverley and living in Bascom in the past, but in spite of that Claire welcomes them home. They settle down quickly, though Sydney is not prepared to meet her first love and his wife, and the gossip surrounding her from the past.

There are a lot of things happening towards the middle of the story and most of the times I find myself flipping through the pages eagerly as I could not wait to find out what happened next. I liked the characters in this story, especially the quirky Aunt Evanelle who is a distant cousin of the Waverley family. She is funny and she somehow possess the ability of predicting something will happen next and will come up with all the necessary stuff. I also enjoyed reading the 'tension' between Claire and Tyler, as well as her reconnection with Sydney. I also liked reading how an outcome of events have helped Sydney changed her outlook on life and being a Waverley member.

Sarah Addison Allen has weaved a heartwarming, magical story in Garden Spells. If you enjoy mystical fictions with a little romance element, this book will surely entrance you.

Other reviewer:
13 Responses
  1. Alice Says:

    Sounds like a great book, Melody! I'm placing this into my wish list. I do like mystical fictions with a little romance element. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    It is, Alice! I really enjoyed it. I'm glad you'll add this to your wishlist as well. :)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, you really make this one sound too good to pass up! I have it in my TBR pile. :)

  4. Julia Says:

    Melody - SO this is the book you were raving to me about teehehehe. I think this might be something I'll be interested to read. I probably get it at the library and read it. Thanks for review and so glad you like it.

  5. Jena Says:

    I read this last year and found it to be a bit fluffy--not my usual choice of reading, but fun when you want something light.

  6. Ana S. Says:

    I won't be able to resist ordering this one for much longer! It sounds just like my kind of book.

  7. Iliana Says:

    Great review Melody - This sounds like a really sweet and fun book. I bought this one recently but as usual, it's just waiting for me :)

  8. Lynda Says:

    I'm currently reading this and loving it ;0)

  9. Melody Says:

    J Kaye - I'm hoping you'll read it soon. :)

    Julia - Great! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it. ;)

    Jena - It is something different from the other books I read, and I quite enjoyed this one.

    Nymeth - I'm hoping you'll read it soon! :)

    Iliana - Thanks. :) I'll be looking forward to reading your review on you're done with it.

    Holistic Knitter - I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)

  10. Great review, Melody! I am looking forward to reading this one. I've heard such great things about it.

  11. Melody Says:

    Thanks, Wendy! :) I can't wait to read your review.

  12. Debi Says:

    Oh my, I really do need to get this one! Thanks for the wonderful review, Melody!

  13. Melody Says:

    Debi, you should read this! It's wonderful! :)

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