Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Garden Spells

Garden Spells Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Book 4 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge
Book 11 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have seen lots of rave reviews about this book and I decided I was in the mood for a little magical realism.  Garden Spells is an inviting fairy tale about two sisters struggling with their past set in Bascom, North Carolina.  Claire Waverley is a genius with food.  She has a magical garden that she uses to evoke emotions in those she caters for.  Everyone important in her life has left her--her mom, grandmother, and sister.  So she only values things that she knows are permanent, and she's afraid to let the unexpected in. Sydney Waverley is the younger sister.  She left town right after high school and disappeared for 10 years.  As the prodigal daughter, she returns with a five year old daughter and not a lot of answers about where she has been.

I really became enchanted by this book.  I let myself suspend belief as I immersed myself in a world where flowers make beautiful food, lovers give off purple auras, and the wind carries scents of the past.  I loved Evanelle, the old relative who runs around town giving everyone little trinkets they will need in the future--like mango slicers, sheets, and quarters.  It was a book full of delectable details.

I can't recommend this book wholesale because there are some rated R moments that made me uncomfortable. There is some brief strong language, some sexual themes, and an instance of sexual violence. But overall, this is a really unique book by a promising author.  I look forward to checking out her next book, The Sugar Queen

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Amy said...

Thanks for the heads up re: R rated scenes I don't think I knew that before.

stacey @ bookthirty said...

I love Evanelle, too! And I agree with the "R scenes" assessment - I've had to be careful to consider who I recommend this book to, because I did have those reservations. What kind of stinks is that the book could have been even MORE lovely if those had been omitted or tones down a bit - they just stuck out as very harsh against an enchanting backdrop.

Emilia said...

I loved this book. It made me itch for earth and food and love.

Sarah McBride said...

I read this for my southern reading challenge, and I really enjoyed it as well.
I really liked the theme of home and family and you cant escape your past, you can only move forward.

i am looking forward to reading her newest book.

bermudaonion said...

This sounds good and I love the cover.

Stephanie said...

I loved this one. It was so much like Practical Magic, which is one of my favorite books (which I found in a thrift store not too long ago, and which now makes its home on my living room bookshelf). If you haven't read PM, pick up a copy. They're pretty much the same story, but they're both so delicious, I didn't mind. :)

Anonymous said...

I reviewed this book too. Loved it!