Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is an enchanting little book. It is the story of two sisters, Claire and Sydney Waverly, who have been estranged for many years. Claire is living in the family home in Bascom, North Carolina, when Sydney arrives with her daughter Bay in tow. Sydney is running from Bay’s abusive father and has nowhere else to go. Claire, a caterer, has trouble getting close to people for fear they will leave.
The Waverly’s have a reputation around town for being different. They possess special gifts. Bay has an uncanny ability to know where things belong, from forks to people. Evanelle, an elderly cousin, is compelled to give people things that they will need in the future; things that will alter the course of their lives (although she never knows how they will be used when she gives them). Claire’s gift is her very special culinary skills. She uses edible flowers and herbs from her garden in her cooking, which can make people remember or forget, fall in or out of love, and any number of other mystical things as she sees fit. Sydney is determined NOT to be special as only a Waverly can be, but soon it’s clear that she is gifted as well. And then there’s the Waverly apple tree, which has it’s own brand of magic.
I was captivated by Garden Spells. It is romantic and sweet and the story flows nicely. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy or magical fiction. Is magical fiction an actual genre? If not, it should be.
A big THANK YOU to Softdrink for sending me this little gem. I’ll be sending it off to another favorite bloggy friend of mine to keep the magic moving around. I wouldn’t want to be the one to break the spell.