Garden Spells

Garden Spells

by Sarah Addison Allen
4.2 2603

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Garden Spells 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2604 reviews.
poosie More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Magical story with a predictable plot, minimal conflict, some comical antagonists, simplistic characters, an an unbelievable happy ever after: this book has little depth and, on a technical level, not much to offer. In fact, Claire's homeless past and Sydney's abusive boyfriend are almost red herrings, foreshadowing conflicts that never quite arrive. Instead, this book is about self-discovery and love with perfect endings, containing impossible magic. It's set in a small town where the biggest conflict is a foolish family feud. There is no complexity, no hidden meaning or intelligent depth, and readers expecting it will be disappointed.
Garden Spells is fluff. Accept that the book is little more than escapism, and it actually becomes quite a fun read. There's something enjoyable and uplifting about uncomplicated self-discovery and romance, and the magic--unbelievable as it is--is colorful and entertaining. The conflicts of the small town remain vaguely irritating (and mildly sexist), but they're comical as well. So, while the book is simple and unmemorable, it's pure escapism which is surprisingly fun to read. I wasn't blown away by this book and I'll never reread it, but I enjoyed it much more than I expected I would. Exaggerated as it is, I like the magic. There's something oddly enduring about a playful apple tree with prophetic fruit, or the ability to influence memory or emotion by baking with the right edible flowers. All told, I recommend this book only moderately, and only to the reader looking for a lighthearted bit of escapism. It's a good book to borrow, because it won't stand up to rereads. But if you want simple fantasy and fun with a colorful twist, Garden Spells might be a good choice for an empty afternoon.
winter.muse More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Normally I can't get into a what I think is a romance book, but Garden Spells was more than that. It had a great plot and wonderful sub-plots within the story. I loved the characters. And as I live in a rural small town community, I could so relate to the storyline and characters. I found myself laughing as I recalled those I know in my own little small town to characters with similar traits or bearing within the story. This book tells a story of what it is we call home, why we can't wait to get away from it, and the comfort in the reasons we always want to go back. Home has the magic of family. There is a special magic in small towns, and the town of this story is no different. There is drama, controversy, romance, of course magic and even a little humor (lots of humor if you happen to live in a small town rural area yourself.
Allierina More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Hope72 More than 1 year ago
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.
TheCrowdedLeaf More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm surprised that this was a recommended book.This story is so similar to Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic it's almost like reading a book report about Hoffman's book. It was basically the same story with a few changes but not written nearly as well. As an avid reader I was very disappointed.
1louise1 More than 1 year ago
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!
Val_E More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gosh I don't even know where to begin. I bought this book because of the great reviews but I found it to be a very dull read. The storyline is very superficial and her writing is at best mediocre. I only finished it because I have bought it. I would not recommend this to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
mja56 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
vanillabrite More than 1 year ago
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.
TheGamesAfoot More than 1 year ago
The characters are elegantly complex and endearing. I found myself wishing heavily that I were Southern. Highly recommend this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah Addison Allen is one of my new favorite authors! Garden Spells is must read book that not only satisfies but feeds your soul. Trust me, you don't want to miss it!
Carolyn Crowder More than 1 year ago
Good easy read. Great weekend book. The tree was the best part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Squigie More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable read about family relationships with a little magic thrown into the mix. I enjoyed the characters and the world created in this book. A good read.
TeRenee More than 1 year ago
While the story was predictable, I loved the culinary descriptions and horticulture/magical folklore. It drew me in and kept me there till the end. Enjoyable.
Scat30 More than 1 year ago
Garden Spells is a great book to pick up. It brings the reader to a unrealistic way of life. When you read Garden Spells you enter into a magical little world through the main characters points of view.
maryanorton More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminded me of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. It was bordering on plagarism. All the major plotlines are similar in some way to a major plotline in that book. And Practical Magic was better written.
nakedmangoes More than 1 year ago
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 : )
Anonymous 27 days ago
Love this author