"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Garden Spells

Title: Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Pages: 290
Challenges: Women's Challenge, TBR Challenge
Rating: 4/5
Summary from Goodreads:
The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother's unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town's constraints. Using her grandmother's mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business -- and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life -- upon the family's peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. With Sydney's homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire's own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney's child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.

I'm not sure why I waited as long as I did to read this book by Sarah Addison Allen.  I've read two other of her novels and thoroughly enjoyed them both.  Garden Spells was no exception.  This book was fabulous!

However, I read this book in APRIL and never reviewed it, so I'm going on pre baby memories here and I'm not sure how awesome or accurate they'll be!

My favorite character in this book is Claire.  I loved her story and how her and her sister reunited and came together to embrace their family heritage.  Also, I loved Claire's love story of sorts.  It was almost inspiring to see how she changed and her whole world was turned upside down.

Once thing that I really love about Allen's books is the aspect of magic and how it is often connected to food in some way, shape, or form.  This was especially present in Garden Spells.  The way that Claire used the ingredients from the garden in her food to change things was so well thought out and different.  It just really made the whole story come together for me!

Ok, that's really all I got on this one.  I just know I really, really enjoyed it and everyone needs to read it!  I'm almost completely caught up with Allen's back list and only have one more book to go - The Sugar Queen.  Her next book Lost Lake comes out in February of 2014 and I already put a reminder on my calender so I can get it as soon as possible!!

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