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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 (1241 )
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4.2 (761 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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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
  •  
    Beth TN, United States 04-03-12
    Beth TN, United States 04-03-12
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    "If you like magical stories, you'll love this one."
    Would you listen to Garden Spells again? Why?

    No, but not because it's not a good book, it's just that there are very few books I have ever liked enough to read or listen to again.


    Any additional comments?

    I hate to compare it to the Sandra Bullock movie 'Practical Magic', but they're too much alike not to. Different, but similar. But, 'Practical Magic' is one of my favorite movies, and I've always had a penchant for all things 'magical', so I loved this book. The ending is different than the movie, thankfully. I wasn't exactly sure how she was going to pull it together, but, of course, she did. There's a lot of humor centering around The Tree, which is fun to read. And it was nice to see the two sisters grow closer, too. The only thing I wished the author had brought a resolution to was the phone call at the end. After it was made, it wasn't mentioned again. And, it would have been nice, in my opinion, for it to have been acknowledged by someone, sometime, somewhere...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cynthia gridley, CA, United States 04-02-12
    cynthia gridley, CA, United States 04-02-12
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    "Garden Spells"
    If you could sum up Garden Spells in three words, what would they be?

    It was wonderful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Evanell. I consider her the Mary Poppin of the story. The way she would bring things to people that they needed at the right time.


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

    I can't say I have one real favorite outside of Evanell . I pretty much loved the sisters and Bey. I loved Claire because of her knowledge of herbs and how she knew how to cook with them. Sidney for rediscovering her life calling and her undying devotion to her daughter. Well it didn't talk but the apple tree too.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I really don't know what you mean by tag line but here is my thoughts .


    Any additional comments?

    I really loved this story. I considered it educational and very heartwarming. The way they used flowers and herbs make me want to go out and plant my own garden. I consider this quite a treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elaine United States 03-28-12
    elaine United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2011

    I'm an avid audible book listener. I am a huge fan of supernatural books and like stuff that is scary but well written. I live in Denver Co

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    "Absolutely loved this book!"

    Such a great story and wonderful narration. I am an avid listener of books and this book is one I've listened to twice. It makes you wish you were there!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 03-14-12
    Kimberly 03-14-12
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    "Nice story, cute quirky characters"

    I enjoyed the story. I felt the ending could have wrapped up a little better - perhaps been a little longer. The characters are interesting and entertaining. There are some funny bits. I felt the 5 y.o. in the story was wise well beyond her years - she was interesting but seemed like she should have been much older. I like the garden, the couple of town characters and the woman who brings gifts.
    I am not a fan of the narrator. She ended sentences with a rising inflection/tone. Her handling of the words make it seem like more of a romance novel than what it is. Her narration felt patronizing, somehow.
    This is the first time I've listened to this author and I will likely listen to (or read, depending on the narrator) more by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sydney 03-12-12
    Sydney 03-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Narrator bring this already fabulous book to life"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The narrator captured the author's words and story so it became alive for me. I loved the book before I listened to it and the audio just made book extra special.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaylyn Eagle Mountain, UT, United States 03-06-12
    Kaylyn Eagle Mountain, UT, United States 03-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent, Very Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved this story. I thought the story line flowed well and I loved the interpersonal relationships between the characters. I wished all the herbal stuff really worked! Definitely worth the credit.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Wallace 02-20-12
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    "Pleasant Listen"

    Just a pleasant, feel good story of family and romance with a mystical twist. Well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Winnpeg, MB, Canada 01-16-12
    Carol Winnpeg, MB, Canada 01-16-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Garden Spells Casts a Wonderful Spell"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Garden Spells to be better than the print version?

    Although I was totally engaged by the audio edition of Garden Spells, I am a true bibliophile in that I love the printed page and most likely will always enjoy the printed page best.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I fell in love with the women in this story, each so different and yet each so similar. The interaction between sisters, the interaction between the town and the family.


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

    Susan Ericksen brings the essence of the South in a way that you don't experience with the printed page.


    If you could take any character from Garden Spells out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would have to ask if Clair couldn't make dinner for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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