Customer Reviews for

Garden Spells

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

ENCHANTING!

Garden Spells is the story of four Waverley women, Evanelle, Claire, Sydney, and Bay, as they learn to be comfortable with their special gifts. The Waverley women have always been considered odd, with their powers, and the very strange tree which grows in their garden. ...
Garden Spells is the story of four Waverley women, Evanelle, Claire, Sydney, and Bay, as they learn to be comfortable with their special gifts. The Waverley women have always been considered odd, with their powers, and the very strange tree which grows in their garden.

The strong characters pull the reader in quickly with the feeling that magic is alive and well and not strange. Full of humor and intense feelings, this is a beautifully written novel that's going to linger in the readers psyche for some time.

posted by poosie on March 6, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Good writing, but the plot is a rip off

I was very excited to read this book, and heard wonderful reviews, and then I read it. And the whole time I was reading it it sounded just like a certain movie which happens to be one of my favorites... And suddenly Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were the main charac...
I was very excited to read this book, and heard wonderful reviews, and then I read it. And the whole time I was reading it it sounded just like a certain movie which happens to be one of my favorites... And suddenly Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were the main characters! The story and characters are such a cheap rip off of the move Practical Magic it isn't even funny. Two sisters born into a family who is "different" and known for witchcraft. And resented for it. One sister leaves to escape her past, the other stays and starts selling magical herbs. They live in a weird old house in a small town on the East coast. Need I continue? I couldn't believe how entirely the plot was ripped off from that. This book was published in 2008, and that movie came out years ago, possibly based on a book before that. I don't know at what point copyrights are infringed upon, but this book is just Practical Magic with new names and a different town.

posted by vanillabrite on February 26, 2009

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  • Posted March 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    ENCHANTING!

    Garden Spells is the story of four Waverley women, Evanelle, Claire, Sydney, and Bay, as they learn to be comfortable with their special gifts. The Waverley women have always been considered odd, with their powers, and the very strange tree which grows in their garden.

    The strong characters pull the reader in quickly with the feeling that magic is alive and well and not strange. Full of humor and intense feelings, this is a beautifully written novel that's going to linger in the readers psyche for some time.

    25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Magical realism at it's best.

    This is Sarah Addison Allen's first novel, and I can see why she was published. As much as I loved The Sugar Queen, I think this might have been a tad better. A bit more delicious, if you will.

    Claire Waverley is a caterer who works with the edible flowers that grow in her mysteriously enchanted garden. Her flowers affect people in different ways, and it's her Waverley talent that she knows them and how to put them into delectable dishes for the best effects. All Waverley's have a talent, which is why the town of Bascom, North Carolina generally tries to avoid socializing with them. But they can't resist Claire's food, and if her older cousin Evanelle gives you a gift? Then you'd best keep it close, you never know when you might need a melon slicer or a couple of quarters.

    Sydney is Claire's estranged sister, whose return to Bascom shakes things up for the quiet town, and disturbs Claire's delicately assembled routine and way of life. Claire is forced to let people in, Sydney and her daughter Bay amongst others; and Sydney is forced to put down roots. All while purple sparks follow the men in love with them, and apples rain down from the ancient apple tree with "issues." Bread toasts itself, thunder clouds signal bad times ahead, and one bite of a piece of fruit can show you the most important event of your life, for better or worse. The are the Waverley's.

    Sarah Addison Allen has created a fabulous story, at times fascinating and magical, but suspenseful as well. We can sense the feelings in the air that unease Claire, we know why Sydney is anxious, and Bay is nervous, and the apple tree shivers. The tension builds to a crescendo and I was squeezing the book wide-eyed and breathless. The ending leaves you happy and satisfied, and it's a good thing for us that her third book is released in March.

    I give Garden Spells 5 stars. It is magical realism at it's best: a dash of a love story, a bit of excitement, a pinch of sensuality, and a flutter of the unexplainable.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put it down!!!

    This book was incredible!! Its been a long time since I have found a great book that I couldn't put down. I downloaded it last week, and the only reason I stopped reading it temporarily was because the battery on my Nook died, and I had homework that I should've been doing, but wasn't because finishing I was reading. I had to force myself not to charge my Nook until my homework was finished - getting to continue reading Garden Spells was my reward :)!!

    It is a very quick read! A wonderful, WONDERFUL story! A perfect summer read!!! I am truly devastated that it's over, the book that is!! I want to reread it again!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved Loved Loved This Book

    Refreshing from beginning to end. Unaware of my surroundings while I read this book. I loved the characters, their personalities, their quirkiness and their love for one another. I was able to cast the characters in my mind with my favorite actresses and actors as I read. I wish I had an Evanelle in my life; or maybe not! The book was the essence of a little Practical Magic and a little Steel Magnolias. Claire and Sydney are both very strong women with an advantage that most women do not have-a little bit of magic in their backyard. If only magic was real to warn us of bad things headed our way or prepare us for what we really want and need most to feel whole inside.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    ENCHANTING! ENJOYED!

    Charming and unique, never a dull moment, this adult fairy tale is the story of Claire and Sydney Waverley, very special sisters who have been estranged for a very long time. It is a special blend of magic without being silly. ENCHANTING! ENJOYED!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    Sparkles with magic.

    Garden Spells is one of my favorite books. I even had to upgrade my paperback for a hardcover. When I read it I can feel the vibrancy of the colors in the story. The magic would literally sparkle across my imagination as I read it. Anyone looking for a book to sweep you away and/or help you believe that maybe things will work themselves out in the end should give Garden Spells a try.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Magical realism at it's best.

    This is Sarah Addison Allen's first novel, and I can see why she was published. As much as I loved The Sugar Queen, I think this might have been a tad better. A bit more delicious, if you will.

    Claire Waverley is a caterer who works with the edible flowers that grow in her mysteriously enchanted garden. Her flowers affect people in different ways, and it's her Waverley talent that she knows them and how to put them into delectable dishes for the best effects. All Waverley's have a talent, which is why the town of Bascom, North Carolina generally tries to avoid socializing with them. But they can't resist Claire's food, and if her older cousin Evanelle gives you a gift? Then you'd best keep it close, you never know when you might need a melon slicer or a couple of quarters.

    Sydney is Claire's estranged sister, whose return to Bascom shakes things up for the quiet town, and disturbs Claire's delicately assembled routine and way of life. Claire is forced to let people in, Sydney and her daughter Bay amongst others; and Sydney is forced to put down roots. All while purple sparks follow the men in love with them, and apples rain down from the ancient apple tree with "issues." Bread toasts itself, thunder clouds signal bad times ahead, and one bite of a piece of fruit can show you the most important event of your life, for better or worse. The are the Waverley's.

    Sarah Addison Allen has created a fabulous story, at times fascinating and magical, but suspenseful as well. We can sense the feelings in the air that unease Claire, we know why Sydney is anxious, and Bay is nervous, and the apple tree shivers. The tension builds to a crescendo and I was squeezing the book wide-eyed and breathless. The ending leaves you happy and satisfied, and it's a good thing for us that her third book is released in March.

    I give Garden Spells 5 stars. It is magical realism at it's best: a dash of a love story, a bit of excitement, a pinch of sensuality, and a flutter of the unexplainable.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    My favorite book.

    Touching and captivating. Draws you in and does not let go. I have read this book numerous times. Sometimes I read it in one sitting and sometimes I make it last a few days so I get to stay in Allen's world just a bit longer. Beautiful story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Garden Spells

    I loved this book! It is excellent reading, good story and whimsical in its own way. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. I can't wait to read her next book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2009

    Enchanting

    This book was absolutely fabulous! I bought it because it was on the Barnes and Noble suggested reading list. I had a really hard time putting it down. I found myself drawn into the lives of the characters. It was interesting to see a witching family with different abilities besides just spells and chants!

    I can't wait to read more from this fascinating author!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Charming!

    The characters are elegantly complex and endearing. I found myself wishing heavily that I were Southern. Highly recommend this book!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    Delightful

    While the story might remind one of "Practical Magic", it is still a fun and magical read, and I found it hard to put down the book until the story was finished. I'm happy to see that the author has another couple of books out and plan to read them also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    You won't be disappointed

    The Waverley Family and their neighbors in the town of Bascom are unusual. And this is not a bad thing. Sydney comes home with her daughter, turns her sister's life upside down and they both learn the meaning of home. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was interesting, it moved right along and the characters were fleshed out and fun to read about. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an adult fairy tale

    I loved this book. For me, it read like a modern day, adult fairy tale; just enough magic and fantasy to make me fall in love with it... Like a bowl of Ben & Jerry's, the perfect dessert : )

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2007

    A magical vacation

    I wish this book was being released sooner! I was lucky enough to recieve an advanced copy and WOW! This would be my number 1 summer read recommend by far! The story is magical with just the right touch of romance and family rebuilding. Remeniscent of Alice Hoffman, this wonderful new author has a fan in me!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2014

    Just reread this book after several years. Good story. Wonderfu

    Just reread this book after several years. Good story. Wonderful characters. Nice resolution of childhood and its memories. Magic in the real world. Having read several books by the author, I particularly appreciate how she weaves those two together. Not overwritten. Quick read. Love Allen's sense of whimsy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Enchanting!

    Fell in love with SAA's beautiful gift of words!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Lovely

    I was tentative to read this, not knowing where it would take me...but by the end I fell in love. The insight of sisterhood, reclaiming joy, and overcoming fear was so refreshing to read. The words were artistically written in such a way that I could almost taste the richness of summer and breathe in the scents that go along with it. This was a joy to read. It was simply lovely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Awesome book

    This book as well as its sister book are both worth reading.

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  • Posted February 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this book. I have loved all of her books. Lost Lake her

    Loved this book. I have loved all of her books. Lost Lake her new one is great. I always look forward to a new book from her.

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