Published: July 24th 2008 by Hodder Paperback
Genre: Contemporary/ Fiction
Date Finished: 29th November 2011
Rating/Recommendation: 5 Stars *****
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.
Good Reads Link : http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2599655-garden-spells
I love Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen so when I found she had published more books I had to get my hands on this one. I don’t know why I leave books sitting on my shelves for so long. This novel is one of the many reasons I read and let me tell you why I enjoyed it so much.
I have a love for novels with many characters and their each individual story that blends together to create something magical and magical is what Sarah has created, from the first few pages till the last I was captivated by the town of Bascom, North Carolina and the people who lives in it. From Claire Waverly the recluse, beautiful caterer, to the charming old man Lester who lives on a farm with his grandson Henry, everyone had their own little piece of magic inside themselves that when brought together just made for this decadent, raw and enthralling tale of love, lust, fear, forgiveness and the willingness to move on from the past that we have all experienced at one time in our lives and connect to.
I really warmed to so many of the characters and their wonderfully mastered traits; from Clair’s fears of abandonment to Sydney’s wild adventures they were so realistic and touching and even haunting at times, but I would have to say Bay, Sydney’s daughter, was one of my favorite characters. Not of course to forget the men- a ring a ding ding –sexy !!!
There were times in this novel when I wanted to cry, scream, laugh and when my heart swooned. So many emotions that changed with every page as the story progressed and I found the day disappearing into the night and the early morning sun arising – I lost track of time reading Garden Spells, it had me hooked. There were times when I had to put it down, when the story plot thickened and things hit a little close to home, but Sarah writes so beautifully that I couldn’t let it rest long and had to know what happened.
And the food, oh my let’s not forget the food. I have an obsession with books that center around food and this was no disappointment. Every time Clair stirred something together or was out in the garden tending to her family heritage, I just wanted to throw an apron on and head out to the nursery to set up my own little garden of paradise. The way she used flowers and herbs to create her dishes was not only imaginative, but very inspirational and I loved how Sarah added a little glossary at the back of the novel explaining some of the flowers and herbs used. This aspect of the novel spoke volumes to me.
While some people may be turned away by the few sex scenes in the book, fear not they are very tasteful and are wonderfully written. The passion is flavorsome and rather than being erotic they actually reveal a lot about the characters that can’t always be spoken through their worlds.
There were very few times during which I lost my way and many times when I wanted to kill certain people – ahem ahem Emma, for instance. But the way in which everything panned out made me love this book even more than possible. I have to mention of course the apple tree too which was a character in itself that added essence and spark to the novel and its characters.
If you haven’t read any of Sarah’s novels I urge you to pick this one up first. If you like drama and romance with a little sprinkle of enchantment then you are sure to fall in love with Garden Spells.