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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Meghan
  • CANTON, GA, United States
  • 08-22-15

Fun and quirky

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.

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enjoyed

enjoyed story. ended too soon. reader sometimes dropped voice so low I had to rewind to hear some words.

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  • Story
  • Penelope M
  • jacksonville, FL, United States
  • 08-13-15

I fell in love with this little southern town

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.

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  • Story

And wonderful book club story

This was a fascinating story. I enjoyed the characters of the story and the touch of magic it was hard to put down

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Fun.

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

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Pretty good

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

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  • Story

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.

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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!

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  • Story
  • Nicole
  • Buchanan, MI, United States
  • 04-13-15

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!

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  • Performance
  • Story

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.