Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.
A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants - from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor.
Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys - except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.
When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down - along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy - if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom - or with each other.
©2007 Sarah Addison Allen; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio
"The blending of horticultural folklore, the supernatural and a big dollop of Southern flavor should find favor with a wide swath of readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"Spellbindingly charming, Allen's impressively accomplished debut novel will bewitch fans of Alice Hoffman and Laura Esquivel." (Booklist)
I bought this book on sale which made it worth it, It wouldn't have been worth it if
i'd used a credit to get it since there are much better books out there to listen to.
The narrator's voice really bothered me.
For me it did because she narrates a lot of mediocre murder mystery novels and that's all I could think of while listening.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
I very much enjoyed listening to “Garden Spells”, especially since I had just finished a Tom Clancy “Jack Ryan” rip-roaring shoot ‘em up-er. While I don’t think either book is great literary writing, each is enjoyable in its own way. This is chick lit at it’s best, with some drama, some romance, some mystery with an enchanting touch of enchantment thrown in
Sarah Allen’s novel is nicely developed and Susan Ericksen does a lovely job of narrating it, with just enough drama at the right points, just enough quiet at the thoughtful places.
I enjoyed getting to know Sydney and her daughter, older sister Claire, and I especially enjoyed the older aunt, Evenelle-who is a character I wish had been given more time. I think the book might have gained positively from a bit more length, giving more time to deeper character development of each of the protagonists.
This is a good beach weekend listen-it’s sort of Jodi Picoult meets Nora Roberts. Sarah Allen goes on my list of authors to look for when I want to read romantic mystery.
A cliched romance narrated painfully by an unsuitable reader. Couldn't wait for it to end. Not for those expecting literary fiction.
Written very much in the style of an Alice Hoffman book, this one has several very enjoyable characters and an interesting story. There is magic and (while it is definitely NOT for the Fantasy Genre) it does lighten up this literary equivalent of a 'chick flick'. The female characters are believable and you come to care about them very quickly. The male characters are a bit 2 dimensional though and serve more as a narrative device than a place in the cast.
That said, it kept my attention throughout and I did enjoy it. I think it also worth mentioning that nearly all the great books in any genre have some romance in them...
The magic of a garden, family legacies and talents, culinary art, and life in the here and now are beautifully crafted together in this story. What a relief to find characters who don't cling to abuse and excuse it as love or whose relationships don't resolve in an instant, but rather require careful tending and time! I found myself feeling unexpected sympathy towards characters who normally would remain flatly wicked. Sure, the story is set in present day North Carolina, but it could easily be a fairy tale told once upon a time and long, long ago. If you don't like romances, then avoid this one-- it's too lovely for your sensibilities.
My mom turned me onto this. Definately a chick book and being a woman loved it. I listened to it all night.
Loved the magical way this was written and how the story was woven in and out of recipes and flowers. The characters were wonderful and loved how they fell in love.
I did not realize this was a romance novel--which I do not like. Tried to finish--the author has created some very imaginative sequences--but the silly "will she or won't she" (it's obvious that she will) overwhelmed the intriguing parts and finally turned me off...so I turned it off and deleted it from my iTunes library.
I am sorry to say it, but I so disliked this audiobook that I did not even finish it. I tried to get through it, but at the halfway point, I just decided I did not have 4 more hours left in me to dedicate to it.
I love anything and everything to do with edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants, so I was super excited about this one when it was recommended to me by a friend. But I am really not so much into "magic", so the story itself lost me on that level.
However, I WOULD have finished it, had it not been for narrator Susan Ericksen. Oh my gosh, her voice got under my skin so badly. In the span of about 3 words, she would go from SHOUTING to completely inaudible. It was uncomfortable via headphones, thanks to the shouting going directly into my ears, and annoying in the car, thanks to the fact that I just had to guess what she probably said at the end of that sentence, or the middle of the next one. In general, her voice was, hmmmm, how to describe it?....Squawkish? Her voice for Bay was ridiculous, and like listening to baby-talk. And she made Claire seem to have no real personality of her own with an extremely boring voice. Think of it as listening to 8 hours of excruciatingly bad acting. I could not take it. I would not recommend to anyone.
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