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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 (1090 )
5 star
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4.2 (629 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Beth Salem, OR, United States 01-04-12
    Beth Salem, OR, United States 01-04-12 Member Since 2010

    Love Sci Fi and Fantasy books since I was 8, starting reading A Princess of Mars series in Junior High School thanks to my Uncle Lester.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Pleasant"

    This was a short, simple and enjoyable story with some interesting twists in the garden.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz 11-12-11
    Liz 11-12-11

    I am a serious business person who loves to escape into a book. I like books about another time and place. I am particularly fond of historical fiction and love a narrator with a proper british accent.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Absolutely Loved this Story"

    This was a lovely book, with enjoyable narration. I have to admit, the first chapter left me totally baffled, even after listening to it twice. As the story progressed, however I fell in love with the characters and their quirts, the garden and the house, and the story of the girls. All the little surprises are so much fun.

    It is certainly not a surprise ending, however. The Author tells a story that takes you naturally to the place it ends. I love that these young women, like most young American women, are struggling with their identity, with relationships and with their own self image. I love more that they come to terms with it.

    For anyone who ever felt like an outsider. This is a must read.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carol Coquitlam, BC, Canada 11-05-11
    carol Coquitlam, BC, Canada 11-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "short, easy, and superficial story"

    I had heard good things about this author. While not a horrible story, it could not be considered "good" by any means. The storyline was predictable, the plot non-existant. I would consider this book good for perhaps a grade 8 level read. I wont be reading any more from this author with so many other good books out there!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Clayton, NC, United States 06-09-11
    Christine Clayton, NC, United States 06-09-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Book!"

    I really enjoy SAA's books. Love the "magic" in the stories. This book kept me wanting to listen, but the ending could have been better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindy United States 05-20-11
    Lindy United States 05-20-11

    Lin

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    7
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    "Just what I was looking for"

    Looking for something light and entertaining, I came across this title while browsing. The reviews mentioned the bit of magical realism in the story and I decided to try it. Glad I did. I was very entertained as well as inspired to straighten up my house a bit, cut some roses and bring in some rosemary. Now I want to bake something with thyme in it. Lovely characters. Especially Evanelle (sp?). Just downloaded Allen's 2nd book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John R Myers Macon, Georgia United States 04-05-11
    John R Myers Macon, Georgia United States 04-05-11 Member Since 2012
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    "What do you like?"

    I can compare Garden Spells to an infant, while it was cute and enjoyable, it just didn't have the teeth or communication skills for me to recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ida 02-19-11
    Ida 02-19-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enchanting..."

    Takes awhile to understand what is occuring in this story, but stick with it. It is a fabulous story about family relationships, family secrets, forgiveness, friendship and unconditional love. A good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Alexandria, KY, United States 02-08-11
    Kathy Alexandria, KY, United States 02-08-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful story!"

    I felt at home with the characters right away. The story pulled me in right away. In other words, it kept me spellbound from page one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth United States 01-06-11
    Ruth United States 01-06-11 Member Since 2014

    I love clean books of all sorts. Love mysteries, fantasies epic to kids stories, fairy tales, romances, humor, and historical fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Readers Beware"

    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.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Omaha, NE, United States 12-10-10
    Cindy Omaha, NE, United States 12-10-10 Member Since 2009

    I love the stories of light supernatural tales with some romance, and giggles.

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    "my kind of story!"

    A genuine magical love story with lots of laughs, and it really kept my interest (Beautifully done)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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