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 listen to audiobooks to keep my mind from numbing during dishwashing and weed pulling. I love historical and comedic romance, and cozies.
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.
As a mom of young children I like to listen while I do laundry or dishes etc. Audio books give me the chance to read (listen) more!
This story seems one part Charlaine Harris and one part 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'. The southern accents are great and the unusual aspects of the story add to the charm.
I just love books. I would rather read then do just about anything else.
From the moment the story started, I was in love. The story of this family is told with humor, courage and a little bit of magic! Each character could easily have been a caricature but they were each developed well enough to expand beyond the flat characters they could have been. I even fell in love with the apple tree. This story is magical. It is a little predicable in the happily ever after way. But, anything else would have left me wanting.
This was an enjoyable read with many insightful moments. Feels a bit like the characters' lives were a lesson in hyperbole, but the author succeeded in making them seem more realistic than fairy tale. I will definitely read the sequel.
Well written and thoroughly engaging. The narrator was perfect for the story. I have found my new favourite author. Bravo!
I love these women and their quirky lives. I want to read more more more!
I honestly would buy books just to hear Susan narrate them. I love her <3
Yes yes yes - Took me 2 days. I had to sleep and work!
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