Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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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