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)
The book was OK, a bit predictable, but with enough of a different premise that I kept going. I liked the narrator as well which always helps. The characters were a bit formulaic and their growth during the tale was nothing unexpected. If you like cozy little mysteries wrapped in mystical occurrences, this is right up your alley. I just kept wanting something more.
The ending was fine. It did wrap up rather suddenly and if you've listened this far you can probably predict what happens for yourself.
This book really made me wish I had a garden again. I miss cooking with fresh herbs I've grown myself. I did love the details of the food and how the fresh ingredients were used to produce the desired effects in those who consumed them.
The narrator is great. I'd listen to almost anything she reads.
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 clean books of all sorts. Love mysteries, fantasies epic to kids stories, fairy tales, romances, humor, and historical fiction
I love the hint of magic in this book. I know people like this. I love herbs and gardening. That said, I do NOT like f-bomb language, descriptions of rape and abuse and lewd sexual encounters. I am much more of the type who thinks the bedroom doors ought to remain closed in a story. This now has the distinction of being the worst book I've purchased at Audible. If you like a tale of local town characters with some mystery thrown in, try a Cat Who.... book by Lilian Jackson Braun or a Joanne Fluke Cookie Murder. They won't have you hating the language or cringing at bedroom scenes. If you like mysteries or adventure Elizabeth Peters is quite wonderful, I enjoy Amelia Peabody books and her Vicky Bliss series. I'm going to delete Garden Spells from my Audible library quick before my mother reads it. I don't tolerate bad language from my children or my literature.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who valued high standards of clean language and any refinement in their lives. It's so pathetic that authors think they are so sophisticated when they insert smutty words into their otherwise good stories. This is one of those. It was recommended by Audible and so my faith in their recommendations is very low as well now. I wish I knew how to get my money back on this and a few other books that I will not subject my ears and mind to.
LOVE, LOVE and LOVE this book!!! The story line is enduring and the characters are beautiful. Ms. Allen weaves a magical story that will transport the reader/listener to a whimsical southern town where family, forgiveness and hope are magical words and Flowers are truly the language of love.
Avatar by The Domestic Goddess at allavatars
A pure delight, and it is my second time through it. It's sweet and innocent and yummy.
This title I purchased on a whim during one of Audible's "3 for 2" or such sales. I'm so glad I did!
As a reader, I really cared about the characters and could almost believe that the type of magic they experienced was real. -- OK, the tree was maybe a bit out there, but the rest of it . . . if magic is real, this is probably how it works. ;-) I appreciate all the work Sarah Addison Allen clearly put into researching herbal lore.
The narration by Susan Ericksen was wonderful. Even though it was written in third person, her inflection changed depending on whose POV we were hearing at the time. Characters were differentiated without becoming cartoonish, and were treated with sensitivity and care.
One mild production criticism: for scenes involving phone conversations, the "other end of the line" was sampled a bit. I found this distracting and a bit off-putting, and it pulled me out of the story I was enjoying so much.
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