Review : Garden Spells

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Pages : 290
Genre : Fiction, Magical Realism
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Claire and Sydney Waverley have both grown up with their family’s name weighting on their shoulders, a name associated with the magic growing in the Waverley’s garden. While Claire embraces the name and everything it stands for, Sydney has been fleeing their grand-mother’s house and its magical apple tree all of her life. But when events in Sydney’s life push her back to the village of Bascon, the two sisters have to face both their relationship and their past.

My Thoughts :

I finally did it! After over two years of blogging and being recommended Sarah Addison Allen’s novels, I finally pulled Garden Spells from my shelf and read it. And if you’ve already done so yourself, you’ll know what I mean when I say that it was a magical experience!

There is much to love in Garden Spells, from terrific characters to the Waverleys’ garden filled with secrets. What surprised me the most in this enchanting story is how believable the magic was, so lightly sprinkled around the words that it didn’t push the border into the fantasy genre. And while it intervened in the characters’ lives in many ways, they were still masters of their lives and their actions.

I think I loved most characters in this book (except the ones you’re supposed to hate, of course) and I loved how different the two sisters were. How same events, same people were understood by them in completely different manners. And yet it did feel like they belonged together, in that house, with this family. There was a complexity to their relationship that had love, anger, regrets, all at the same time in a true-to-life manner.

If you ask me though, I would say there were four main characters in this story, all four Waverley women : Claire and Sydney, or course, but also Sydney’s daughter Bay and the sisters’ aunt Evanelle. Evanelle had one of the most awesome and most original magical power I’ve heard of, which is to give people something they need. Except, it’s always some random item they don’t already know they need. It’s absolutely comical and perfectly brilliant, especially since she’s also a completely lovely lady.

I loved the writing in most parts, though I did feel there were a few rough corners left needing an extra touch. Not really being into the love-at-first-sight-I-lose-all-common-sense-around-him type of story, I have to say the romance aspect didn’t work perfectly for me, but I honestly think it speaks of my interests and not of the author’s talent.

All in all, Garden Spells was absolutely delicious and I will absolutely be reading more from the author. If you love stories that mix love and family relationships with a touch of magic, I would certainly recommend this one. 🙂

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9 responses to “Review : Garden Spells”

  1. Mystica says :

    This sounds gorgeous. Thanks for the post.

  2. Juju at Tales of Whimsy... says :

    Glad you enjoyed it. I always enjoy SAA’s work.

  3. VioletCrush says :

    This book has been on my Wishlist for a long time. I’m so glad you loved it, it makes me want to read it even more.

  4. alitareads says :

    So glad you liked this – you’re right, reading it really is a magical experience. Wasn’t Evanelle’s gift the best? I think I’d be a little freaked out to get something from her, but also really really curious.

  5. BermudaOnion says :

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while too. Call me shallow, but I’m excited because there’s a character named Vance in the book.

  6. Kailana says :

    I read this book not expecting to really like it… What happened was I loved it and I now buy her books as soon as they come out!

  7. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books says :

    You’re two steps ahead of me — people have been recommending Sarah Addison Allen, and I’ve yet to even buy a book to put in the “waiting room” on my shelves.

    Not being into “love at first sight” stories doesn’t seem to have diminished your enjoyment of this novel (so I won’t let it stop me, either).

    Thanks for the push …

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