Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Without sounding like a COMPLETE idiot, this book had me under it’s spell from the beginning. Ok…I totally fail…I sound like a complete idiot. But seriously, this is one of the most charming, touching, magical stories I’ve read. I told Annie over the weekend that this book is “filled with magic and apples and herbs and love and memories.” And I think that about sums it up.

It introduces us to a very special family, the Waverly’s. A family that has a very special set of abilities. And a very special set of circumstances. Claire is a woman that loves to please those around her with her cooking that is said to be more than just food. What grows in her garden has the power to affect people in certain ways. She can cook up a dish of flowers and any other ingredient that can make people cry, laugh, argue, forget or fall in love among other things. But the one person she can’t take care of is herself.

Her sister has her own set of abilities despite the years she’s spent denying them. But fate brings her back to her sister’s house when she leaves her abusive husband and tries to start a new life with her daughter. And bringing everyone together is their older cousin who has the need to give people things that always seem to find their own usage.

And of course we have the apple tree. A character of it’s own. This is no ordinary apple tree. It grows in Claire’s garden and eating one of the apples will show you the most important thing that will happen in your life. Not a good thing, necessarily. This apple tree also has a mind of it’s own when it comes to throwing apples at people and grabbing things at times.

I totally got lost in this book’s magic. Despite quite a few tragic things that happen in this book, I don’t remember the last time I was so charmed by a book. And it’s topped off with such strong female characters, perfectly written magical realism, and it filled me with the desire to get into my garden and cook with my own food more than ever. What a treat 🙂 Can’t wait to read everything else that Allen’s written!

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17 Responses

  1. Another convert to Sarah Addison Allen. Isn’t she awesome.

  2. wow you are on a roll reading!!!
    this one really hit your soft spot for your own garden!!

  3. Sounds yummy…excuse the pun..lol But I do like the idea of this story. TY 😀

  4. Shit–just how many books do you think I can get read this summer?!! 😛 Seriously, you are adding to my “I WILL READ THIS THIS SUMMER IF IT KILLS ME” pile on a daily basis here. Now, if school would just end so summer could start…

  5. Ooh, not heard of this author before. This sounds like a fantastic book though.

  6. SCORE!!!! So so so so so glad you liked this one. And glad you finally had the opportunity to snuggle up with it. 😀

  7. I’ve read all of her books and this one is still my favorite!! Great review and glad to see that you’ve fallen under her spell!! 😀

  8. I was in love with the apple tree. 🙂

  9. I read this one and I agree; it was really pretty wonderful for being kind of a fluffy book. I thought it was really charming.

  10. Have you read The Enchanted April? LOVED. Very very charming but completely different. But, super charming. I think you would like.

  11. Shoot. I have this one on audio and somehow forgot about it. Thanks for this, I want to be charmed too! Bumping the book up on my list.

  12. Oh I love everyone’s description of this book! Can’t believe I haven’t picked it up yet. I’m going tomorrow. Promise!

  13. Well, either we are both idiots, because that is exactly the kind of thing I would have written, or we are both sentimental guys with a corny sense of humor. I say we pick number two! 🙂

    Sarah Addison Allen is an author I’m really hoping to get to (more accurately get *back* to) this summer. I started reading The Sugar Queen last year and got sidetracked, but was liking it when I was reading it. I suspect she is an author I would enjoy enough to read all of her books. And thus far each cover image has been stunning, making me want to bring them home just for that reason alone.

  14. Oh this is her best book yet but I still love her other ones too. Sugar Queen is my least favorite but still good. Try The Girl Who Chased the Moon then Peach Keeper. Follow it up with Sugar Queen. Glad you enjoyed it!

  15. I got lost in the magic of Sarah Addison Allen’s first 3 books (the last one not quite so much). I loved the tree so much in this book!

  16. I am glad you enjoyed this book, Chris! I went into it not being sure what I would think, but she has quickly became one of my favourite authors.

  17. I loved this, very similar to Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman who is one of my favourite authors. Definitely plan on checking out The Sugar Queen at some point.

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