Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Garden Spells

Garden Spells

I judged a book by its cover, I did. I mean, look at it. Is it not a beautiful picture? I want that picture in my house. I judged a book by its cover....and I am glad I did.

This is the enchanting story of The Waverly family, mainly 30-something Claire, who live in North Carolina in their ancestral home. The Waverly's have a...knack for things that are a bit supernatural and are known are rather odd in their town. Their octogenerian cousin Evanelle gives people random gifts; cigarette lighters, clean sheets and pop tarts, flash lights, etc. Random until, that is, these people realize they need these items a day, a week, a month later. Claire has a flair for cooking and baking, aided by their enchanted garden. Claire knows which herbs create sought-after moods like satisfaction, happiness, forgiveness, etc. and her catering business is thriving. Everything in the garden is used...except for the apple tree. Don't eat from the apple tree, even if it throws those apples at your feet over a fence or through your bedroom window, as it likes to do.

Claire's orderly life is thrown askew when her younger sister Syndey shows up back in town after years of absence, with a daughter, and a new handsome neighbor moves in next door. Sydney left with the thought of never coming back to this town full of prejudices and disdain for her family, what could ever make her come back? Will she and her sister ever get along? Can beautiful, talented, regimented Claire ever let down her guard enought to dare to love, even if it means you might eventually get hurt?

The writing was charming. The characters are quirky (the family where the men only marry older women, the other family where the women are known for their sexual prowess) and made me want to live there. Ms. Addison Allen's debut book is a great read. Check it out. And love the cover too.

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