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Publisher's Summary

Sarah Addison Allen, beloved author of Garden Spells, returns with a luminous story of the trouble with hanging on too long, and the magic that happens when you finally let go.

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beat-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. But the Waverleys have enough trouble on their hands. Quiet Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies, but it's nothing like she thought it would be, and it's slowly taking over her life. Claire's wild sister Sydney, still trying to leave her past behind, is about to combust with her desire for another new beginning. And Sydney's fifteen-year-old daughter Bay has given her heart away to the wrong boy and can't get it back.

From the author of the New York Times bestselling sensation Garden Spells, First Frost is magical and atmospheric, taking readers back into the lives of the gifted Waverley women - back to their strange garden and temperamental apple tree, back to their house with a personality of its own, back to the men who love them fiercely - proving that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It's where the real story begins.

©2014 Sarah Addison Allen (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Not as good as Garden Spells

I have read this series because First Frost is this month's selection for my local library book club. The earlier novel, Garden Spells, centered around Waverly sisters Claire and Sidney so I expected the sequel to follow that pattern. However, the main character in this book was Bay, Sidney's daughter.

For me this was a disappointment for two reasons. First, my favorite character is Claire and while her story was certainly continued here, it was not central. Also, while not giving away the plot, I will say that the resolution of the point regarding the stranger and his interaction with Claire was not credible to me.

Second, the prominence of Bay's story moved the series from being a woman's novel in Garden Spells into the YA category with First Frost. There is nothing wrong with YA novels and I have enjoyed a number of them. However, I was surprised at the shift here, especially after the mature themes addressed in the first book.

So after really enjoying the first novel, this one was a slight let down, hence my ratings. Also, the narrator was a bit shrill with some of the voices in this book.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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The Magic is Still There!

At first the story began kind of slowly and I was not sure I was going to like it as much as all of Sarah's other books but she snuck up on me and brought the magic through once again! She is one author I always look for Nd hope for more books! We all need a little magic in our life!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Should have known better

What was most disappointing about Sarah Addison Allen’s story?

This is not a book for Grown ups. It is Teenage Lit. I loved Garden Spells. REALLY loved Garden Spells. I keep buying each new Sarah Addison Allen book thinking I will find another book that lovely, but each one sequentially has gotten worse and worse. I had hope that since she decided to go back to the Waverly's and write a Sequel to Garden Spells she would recover what was so enchanting about that first book. However, this is the worst one yet. I can't even finish it. There is no depth to the characters or the story. I really felt that I was wasting my time, I could not get engaged in this one at all. I.AM.DONE. with sarah Addison Allen books.

What didn’t you like about Susan Ericksen’s performance?

It reminded me of "Library Lady" reading a story to very young children

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom

Any additional comments?

Truly Disappointed

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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The Second Installment Left me Wishing for a Third

First Frost exceeded my expectation in continuing the myth and magick of the Waverly sisters. The descriptive prose makes me feel as if I am standing on the street in Bascom. As always, the narrator only adds to the story through the inflections and tonal distinctions of each character. This book is a listening pleasure.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing.

Nothing in this book grabs your attention, I kept waiting for something to happen, it didn't. I did finish it, but I would not recommend it to anyone else.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeri
  • Asheville, NC
  • 04-03-15

Shallow and fluffy

What would have made First Frost better?

A different narrator would have helped, but the story was predictable and sometimes annoying, with one-dimensional characters.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sarah Addison Allen again?

Possibly. I liked Garden Spells well enough that I'd consider another one. The last two I chose were duds, though.

What didn’t you like about Susan Ericksen’s performance?

The cadence of her voice sounded like someone reading a story to kids. It was weird.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

My mind drifted a lot while listening, so I suppose one reaction was boredom. The other was irritation--mainly at the way the families are stereotyped. The people in this family *always* do this, the people in that family are always like that, the men in this other family always do this, etc. Ugh.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 01-23-15

Sorry to see it end

A great follow up to Garden Spells and I hated to see it end. A fantastic set of characters mixed with a cozy mystery. The first part of the book was mainly about Bay, one of the younger Waverley's, and how she and her special gifts are maturing. She has not been made privy to a back story that concerns her future and some old secrets are revealed. Claire has become a candy maker and people are clambering for her, sometimes life altering, wares except for the dark stranger who arrives in town. The Waverley's must band together to find out who he is, what he wants, and protect themselves from his bad intentions. A twist is added to the end that will affect them all in the next book.

Another great story filled with magical fun and of course the infamous Apple tree. The first blossoms are greatly anticipated by all except for maybe the men acquainted with the wonderful Waverley women. Highly looking forward to the next in the series. Sarah Addison Allen and narrator Susan Erickson make an enchanting pair.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great follow up

This was a great follow up to garden spells!!! Extremely well read and a wonderful story! Must read garden spells first.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Get Your Sarah Addison Allen Fix



What a perfect book to warm the winter up!!

First Frost revisits the Wavery sisters ten years after we left them in Garden Spells. Garden Spells is just so magically wonderful; I was so anticipating this revisit. I was delighted that Evanelle was included in this return and really enjoyed the new additions to the ensemble.

Can First Frost standalone though? One could enjoy this book without reading Garden Spells first, though Garden Spells is so outstanding – why would you? Garden Spells ended so perfectly that I question the necessity for a revisit. I am still not completely convinced it was necessary. The author’s introduction to the back story in this book is not the smoothest I have read. The flipping between the teenage and adult narratives was awkward. It took the believably out of the family magic. Such as, I have a hard time getting my head around a fifteen year old's relationship with a boy she met in high school as her destiny. These are minor infractions.

I will always be first in line on the day of release for a Sarah Addison Allen work.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Magical

Just enough of a touch of the mystical to spark your imagination! This book was more like her first two books--light hearted and hopeful without becoming too predictable!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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