Monday, March 26, 2012

Abducted by Garden Spells

If I had to describe Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen in one word, that word would be...refreshing!

This book was first recommended to me over four years ago! I loved it so much that I wish I had read it before, and I wish I had bought it and not just downloaded the audio version because I want to go back and read over certain parts again and again and again! It was wonderful!

Let me start from the beginning. Sarah Addison Allen is known for writing novels that are basically general fiction novels but with the slightest mystical touch. So, for example, Garden Spells is very similar to the movie Practical Magic. It has the same tone and feel to it. But the Waverly sisters never actually say or write or use spells. The Waverly house has a garden of flowers that the older sister, Claire, uses in her cooking. The most she ever does is say that by including roses in her foods she can encourage the eaters to feel love, or if she includes carnations it will inspire people to be bold.

The Waverly sisters are Claire and Sidney and they have a very strained relationship. Claire stayed in their small home town taking care of their grandmother and the Waverly home. All she has ever wanted was to feel included, but has been kept as an outsider by many members of the town. Sidney, on the other hand, left town at her absolute first opportunity! When the story picks up, we learn that Sidney has been through a lot since she left town and now her life is in danger. She comes home to stay with Claire because she knows that it is the only place that will be safe for her and her young daughter.

When Sidney arrives she finds Claire living a life of solitude but with a potential love interest with the boy next door, Tyler! Now, when Tyler first came on the scene I didn't like him. It was all about the name for me. You say the name Tyler and I'm picturing a blonde headed eight year old running around playing soccer. I don't picture a sexy romantic professor who paints and who I want to have throw me up against wall and make out with me. But when the (literal) sparks started to fly between Claire and Tyler, that was exactly how I felt! Their first kiss had my cheeks blushing and my stomach doing somersaults! By the end of the book, just the mention of Tyler made me flip! It was Tyler this and Tyler that, and I'm sitting there listening to it and just flip flip flipping!!!

The two mystical features that I loved the most was the house and the apple tree. The house has the ability to respond to the people and emotions that are held within it. When everyone laughs at the same time the windows snap open. When people begin to fight and tensions are building the foundation starts to move causing the pots and pans to sway. And I have never heard of an apple tree having so much personality! The tree itself was a character all on its own! So many of the moments with the tree were the funniest moments in the entire book!

The hardest part about listening to this book was the fact that I got through the book so quickly! When I was listening to it I kept begging myself to stop and wait and do something else. But then I just wanted to be back in that world so badly that I had to push play again! I wanted delayed gratification but just couldn't quite accomplish it! I finished the whole book in just two days! And now that it is over I just want to go back!!!

How many general fiction novels can leave you feeling that way...the answer - NOT MANY!!!

That is why I am giving Garden Spells an abduction rating of...


Anne said...

I love Sarah Addison Allen's books and this one is really good. I loved the tree too, great review!

Annette Mills said...

This one has been on my list of books I want to read some day for YEARS also. You made me want to upgrade it's status....thanks!

I'm going to order the audio book right now.

fakesteph said...

This sounds so good! Maybe I'll download it. I like sister stories and sexy professor stories and magic. I'm listening to The Night Circus now and it's the same way. I can't stop. :)

fakesteph said...

This sounds so good! Maybe I'll download it. I like sister stories and sexy professor stories and magic. I'm listening to The Night Circus now and it's the same way. I can't stop. :)

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I've read a few of Sarah Addison Allen's books and they all seem to have that magical feel. I love it. I've yet to read this one but I will soon.

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Despite the few novels she's written, she is definitely one of my favorite authors. I really enjoy the magical realism genre, but not many books fit that category!

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Great review! I guess I need to read this one! Your comments about the name Tyler and how you originally felt about the name and how you feel now really made me laugh! My brother's name is Tyler so I just automatically think of him - so it's definitely not the name of a love interest for me! But maybe I can overlook that when I read it!

NC Photo Booth said...

I've heard so many great things about this author! I just read a review of her new book, The Peach Keeper, over at A Library of My Own. Thanks for the review, it sounds awesome!

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