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)
My hands are always busy--I'm always working on something, all day long. Audiobooks keep my mind happily occupied, thankyou Audible.
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.
A narrator more suited to the region in which the novel is set.
The narrator's sad attempt at a Southern accent.
A different narrator. Sissy Spacek, who did a phenomenal job with To Kill A Mockingbird, would be my choice.
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.
Took a chance on a new author, how did I miss this one! This quirky little southern town with it's richly developed characters enchants you in every way. The narration of Susan Erickson draws you into this place of whimsical magic,so hauntingly portrayed by the author, that the people and place become real. I will be reading more books from the talented pen of Susan Addison Allen , and am looking forward to the forthcoming book in this setting. I hope there will also be an audible version too.
This book, if compared to a Harlequin Romance, would embarrass the Harlequin authors. Just awful.
Not anything by same author - returning second book I had purchased of hers without even hearing first word.
Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
What a fun read, not great literature but a smart, enjoyable story of relationship awakenings. This had been on my TBR list for a long time because I'm not really into chick-lit, but, I think this was more than that. Just an overall good story of two estranged sisters trying to move forward in their lives after experiencing a pretty rough childhood. It was not sappy at all but there was a pretty feisty apple tree involved and some very quirky characters.
As always Susan Ericksen did excellent job narrating, her voices were distinguishable and fit the characters personalities. I recommend this for those looking for a light, feel good read surrounded by small town Southern hospitality and a bit of enchantment thrown in for good measure.
I commute to work four hours a day and Audible has made it bearable for me for the last year.
This book included a love story along with some magic and mystery, all of my favorite things.
No, I read the book first & purchased the audio so I could listen during my commute.
Not really sure , the story line was fairly unique
I could feel the emotions
Clare, I would like to discuss gardening tips!
If Garden Spells would have used the catering aspect of the story, using the flowers and recipes to weave people together in telling the story, it would have been more interesting. The characters are very one dimensional and predictable, especially the Emma storyline.
The idea was good and there was so much potential for a clever story.
I don't believe that I will.
Ericksen did capture the different characters through her voice tone and cadence. I would listen to her again.
This book was a disappointment. It came across as a Lifetime movie with trite dialog and simplistic characters. The reviews by members of Goodreads made me want to hear this but it just wasn't good.
This is a good book to read. My listening experience was dulled by the inept performer who mistook volume for acting. When the reader wanted to convey intensity, she shouted. Having just come from hearing The Winter Sea with the superb narration of Rosalyn Landor, I was sorely disappointed with Susan Ericksen's poor reading. Looking forward to other SAA books that do not have this reader.
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