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review 2018-07-16 18:37
Garden Spells - - Magical Realism Done Very Well
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

Funny, I love this book, but honestly don't remember the last time I read it. After finishing "Garden Spells" I went and read book two in the Waverley family again so that was a nice and and two punch. Allen does magical realism very well. This book deals with a lot of serious issues, rape, abuse, bullying, and the eccentricities of a small but unusual southern town in North Carolina.

 

"Garden Spells" reunites estranged sisters, Claire and Sydney Waverley. Claire is single and alone making a go of her special catering business in Bascom, North Carolina. She has her whole world turned upside down when she meets a man, Tyler Hughes, who despite her best efforts is interested in her.

 

Sydney has left her abusive partner and taken her daughter Bay back home to Bascom. She has hated Bascom since she left it and never wanted to be one of the strange Waverley's. All she wanted to do was fit in. Still nursing heartbreak over the first boy she ever loved (and lost) Sydney starts to finally embrace being a Waverley.

 

The book focuses not just on Claire and Sydney though. We also have Allen including other characters as well, we follow Claire and Sydney's cousin Evanelle, Sydney's daughter Bay, an old friend (not really friend) of Sydney's, and even Tyler and a potential love interest for Sydney. Allen manages to juggle everyone and keep the plot moving forward. I didn't feel lost about who people were and how they were connected. We also got delicious little comments about which each family is famous for in this book and that was pretty cute. 

 

The writing is magical realism at it's best. Allen makes you feel, smell, and even taste things. If you do things right, you can make the magical elements seem totally natural and Allen does. We hear about the Waverley family home, apple tree, and even how Claire's emotions affect things like having fog in the neighborhood.

 

The flow was very good and the setting of Bascom felt very real.

 

Great first book in the series. 

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text 2018-07-13 13:34
Reading progress update: I've read 44%.
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

So far a very good book. Estranged sisters Claire and Sydney are doing what they can to be closer after Sydney returns home with her 5 year old daughter Bay. Sydney is on the run from an abusive marriage and returning to her hometown where she was made to feel strange is the only place she can go that she feels safe.


Claire is dealing with the man next door becoming interested in her and she wants him to stay away. She's doing what she can to help him along with that by cooking him food that should turn him away.

 

Sydney is dealing with old ghosts (old friends and a boyfriend). 

 

I love their aunt who apparently has a Waverly gift of giving people things for hidden reasons. 

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text 2018-07-12 21:50
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

I had good intentions (cringes). Going to try again when I get home. 

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text 2018-07-12 15:08
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

The first book in Allen's Wavery family series. A very good book that showcases magical realism. Trying very hard to dip my toe back into things on Goodreads and Booklikes. I barely feel present anymore. I have posted some reviews here and there, but haven't had a chance to get back into the groove of things. Hope today gets me there a bit. 

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review 2015-06-24 02:49
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells

Sarah Addison Allen

Hardcover, 304 pages

Published August 28th 2007 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2007)                   

ISBN 0553805487 (ISBN13: 9780553805482)   

also available in Kindle, Audio Cd, and Audible Audio

 

Garden Spells is a relaxing read. Sara Addison Allen developed the characters well, giving them and the little southern town personality and charm. I liked the little eccentricities built into the characters, making them unique. Allen built in a little personal history to each character as well, which is what built part of the plot. Each character had something in his or her past to come to terms with, and Allen was able to show how each character grew throughout the story. This is a quick read. There is romance, but one thing I enjoyed was how the character, Claire, used her garden and edible plants in her catering business. The author even included the meaning and use of some edible plants that were mentioned in the book.  This is the first in the Waverly Family Series and Sarah Addison Allen's debut novel. The 2nd, First Frost, was just published in January, 2015.

 

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