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Garden Spells | [Sarah Addison Allen]

Garden Spells

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers.

Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

Together again in the house they grew up in, the Waverley sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy - if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom - or with each other.

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Publisher's Summary

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1331 )
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4.2 (841 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mstv01 05-08-12
    Mstv01 05-08-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun Read!!! Satisfying light romance!"
    Where does Garden Spells rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    It's among the top of the 'Mind Candy' group! It's a wonderful, quirkey, satisfying getaway from the mundane.


    What other book might you compare Garden Spells to and why?

    Her other book "The Sugar Queen". Both are whimsical, lovely stories of finding oneself through trying circumstances, overcoming the odds families bring to our lives and triumphing in the end.


    Which character ??? as performed by Susan Ericksen ??? was your favorite?

    Well, she didn't perform it exactly, but the tree... Really, the tree brings in the story! However, of the performed characters, I think Sydney because she ran away from what she was and had to come home to find herself.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Extreme... not really, but definite giggling, inner happiness and overall good feelings when finished. Along with a few sighs when Claire - well don't want to give anything away!


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth listening to, especially if you're stressed & just want to get away for awhile to give your mind a rest from reality or simply just want to fully relax with the story.

    Also gives thoughtful insights into handling situations that might just come in handy - things that are magical, but only because they can be achieved with a little thought and kindness in everyday life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krista atlanta, GA, United States 05-05-12
    krista atlanta, GA, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2008

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Garden Spells"

    Allen mixes magic and realism in a special, wonderful way.The characters are well developed and each have their own special magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 04-29-12
    Anna 04-29-12
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    "Thoroughly Enjoyable and Heartwarming"

    This book is reminiscent of Practical Magic (very similar story, actually) but is more about the transformation and healing of the characters. This story has good dramatic tension without being dark and negative. For me, it was a real relief to listen to a story that didn't have to have an absolute evil running the show in order to have dramatic tension. I LOVED the style of magic in this story which brought to mind stories such as "Like Water for Chocolate". Thank you for a wonderful heart warming book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Columbia, SC, United States 04-21-12
    Rebecca Columbia, SC, United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2013

    Nothing like a good listen to help you escape!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enchanting!"
    What did you love best about Garden Spells?

    I loved the way the author blended the garden goodies with culinary delights!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bay was delightful!


    Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favorite?

    Tyler


    Who was the most memorable character of Garden Spells and why?

    Claire was so multi-dimensional and real!


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful way to spend a day!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Lawrenceville, GA, United States 04-19-12
    Wendy Lawrenceville, GA, United States 04-19-12 Member Since 2011

    To All My Favorite Narrators: You are the voices in my head...

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    "Short and Sweet"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a very lovely story. The plot loosly resembled "Practical Magic". Overall, I liked the book and the narration. I just felt like there was more of a story here if she wanted to tell it. But still worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abby eagan, MN, United States 04-16-12
    Abby eagan, MN, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Cute little story"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a nice easy listen. I thought the narrator did an excellent job with all the characters. It's nothing spectacular but I did enjoy the story and thought it was worth the credit. The "magic" in the story made it different and more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Crescent, IA, United States 04-10-12
    Lori Crescent, IA, United States 04-10-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Enchanting!"

    I loved this book! It was so delightful even though somewhat predictable. I could get lost in the garden or in just listening to the descriptions of the food and flowers. The characters are so endearing and I love that apple tree! I will definitely listen to this one again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Las Vegas, NV, United States 04-05-12
    Patricia Las Vegas, NV, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2010

    Mother of 3, grandmother of 6, retired nurse and substance abuse counselor. Thrilled to have the time to read or listen to books again.

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    "enchanting"

    a wonderful little book, a thoroughly lovely way to spend about 8 hours. Never thought I would fall in love with an apple tree!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia M. Clay PEN ARGYL, PA, United States 04-05-12
    Patricia M. Clay PEN ARGYL, PA, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2012

    Geek Mom

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    "This is a great book"

    This is a real world magic book. It brings you in to the family, the town, and the characters' lives. I found myself more and more drawn in as the story progressed. I did not want the book to end. Very enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart 04-04-12
    Stewart 04-04-12 Member Since 2012

    Geeky, weatherman, birdwatcher, ultra-marathoner (if you've never run 50 to 100 miles for fun you wouldn't understand)

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    "good book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Garden Spells to be better than the print version?

    It was an interesting story. Pretty much a fantasy oriented toward women but I wouldn't go so far as to call it


    What did you like best about this story?

    The humor


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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