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Garden Spells Audiobook

Garden Spells

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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 (1756 )
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4.3 (1214 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jamie R. Hawkins 06-07-15
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    "Fun."

    The plot was pretty predictable, but it was a fun read. Loved the story and the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannah 05-29-15
    Hannah 05-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Pretty good"

    This was a light, quick, enjoyable read. The reader was good, but the audio sometimes faded oddly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meri 04-21-15
    Meri 04-21-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fun and fanciful story."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valentina Salem, Or, United States 04-14-15
    Valentina Salem, Or, United States 04-14-15 Member Since 2011

    Valentina Vittori-McKinley

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    5
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    "Completely wonderful"

    Well written and thoroughly engaging. The narrator was perfect for the story. I have found my new favourite author. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Buchanan, MI, United States 04-13-15
    Nicole Buchanan, MI, United States 04-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Love the Waverly women!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I love these women and their quirky lives. I want to read more more more!


    What does Susan Ericksen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I honestly would buy books just to hear Susan narrate them. I love her <3


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes yes yes - Took me 2 days. I had to sleep and work!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TN Woman 03-03-15
    TN Woman 03-03-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Above average chick lit"

    I enjoyed every minute of this audiobook. I am not generally a fan of the genre, but I turn to it after listening to a particularly heavy books. This book was just the ticket...light and engaging.... With just a pinch of Southern magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 02-20-15
    Julie 02-20-15
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    "Cheesy and Predictable"

    I have to give this book 2.75 stars, but I don't want any Audible recommendations coming up based on a 3 star review so I'm rounding down to 2. I was really surprised that this book received so many high ratings. It started out average and declined from there. It was SO predictable, and that's saying something coming from me. If the characters and the story are engaging, I don't usually mind if a book follows a typical "formula" because the book is still enjoyable. Of course it's much better if the book is original and unique. But Garden Spells was like watching a bad made-for-TV light romance movie (and I like a good romance as much as the next girl). I knew exactly how the entire story would go, and how it would end, after the first few chapters. I love stories with any kind of magic or fantasy, but not even the magical elements could save this book. They seemed forced and did not blend seamlessly into the story, so it was impossible to suspend disbelief and feel drawn in. The worst part, though, was how incredibly cheesy and trite the story was. There's no other word for it. I actually rolled my eyes at some of the lines, and no book has ever provoked that reaction in me before. As for the narration, while the narrator has a good voice in a general sense, she was not right for this book -- or rather, she made a cheesy book even cheesier. She sounded like she was reading a child's fairy tale the entire time. Granted, she was stuck with the dialogue, which often explained in detail what was already patently obvious, but the pedantic tone made it even worse. Also, this book takes place in small town North Carolina, and this narrator did not have a Southern accent. She put one on for some of the characters, but it wasn't very believable and was made worse by the fact that most of the characters had no accent even though they had lived in this town their whole lives. In case it isn't obvious from this rant, I would not recommend this book. There are so many other options for books with magic, family, a little romance, etc.; it's a wonder this was even published. It is not worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MizJones 02-18-15
    MizJones 02-18-15

    My hands are always busy--I'm always working on something, all day long. Audiobooks keep my mind happily occupied, thankyou Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly Delightful!"

    I am not familiar with this author, but I'm a big fan of narrator Susan Ericksen, whose ability to represent the characters is truly phenomenal. Her tonal inflections, accents (she can do black, southern, yankee, native american, men, women, children) and versatility actually enhance each story she does. This one is no exception.

    The story itself is a combination of reality and magical whimsy. I love the apple tree. Excellent plot, kept me smiling and cheering right up to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Parker Knoxville, TN 02-01-15
    R. Parker Knoxville, TN 02-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Abominable choice of narrator for this novel"
    What would have made Garden Spells better?

    A narrator more suited to the region in which the novel is set.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Garden Spells?

    The narrator's sad attempt at a Southern accent.


    How could the performance have been better?

    A different narrator. Sissy Spacek, who did a phenomenal job with To Kill A Mockingbird, would be my choice.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Garden Spells when I read it, so when I saw the discounted Audible version just before the release of First Frost I was very excited. I wish I had taken time to read the reviews, as I must agree this narrator it's completely unsuited to the material. The sad attempts at an accent only make the characters sound like stereotypically stupid Southerners, and that's when she tries for the accent at all. If I'd used a credit or paid full price for this I'd be livid right now. My advice: if you're a fan of Sarah Addison Allen, skip this and pick up the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Noah JUSTIN, TX, US 01-04-15
    Janet Noah JUSTIN, TX, US 01-04-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book!"

    Intriguing look at a family dealing with how their special gifts them and others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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