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“Garden Spells” is a light read, with a magical aspect to it. Set in North Carolina, it tells the story of the Waverley family and their relationships. They are all “different”, with gifts that are key aspects of the story. Another important “character” in the story is the Waverley garden, containing the flowers used by Claire Waverley in her cooking and the apple tree, which plays an important role throughout the tale.

I enjoyed suspending belief for a while as I read Sarah Addison Allen‘s magical story. Although on a more serious note, I would agree with one of the conclusions that we are led to, towards the end of the book – that we really should not jump to conclusions about a person’s actions, unless we have all the facts.

I would recommend this to anyone who feels like an antidote to heavier tomes or as an escape from the harsh realities of life.

About the Author:

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New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavour of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction — a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journalist father for the former and her mother, a fabulous cook, for the latter). In college, she majored in literature — because, as she puts it, “I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate.”

After graduation, Allen began writing seriously. Her big break occurred in 2007 with the publication of her first mainstream novel, Garden Spells, a modern-day fairy tale about an enchanted apple tree and the family of North Carolina women who tend it. Booklist called Allen’s accomplished debut “spellbindingly charming.” The novel became a Barnes & Noble Recommends selection, and then a New York Times Bestseller.

Allen continues to serve heaping helpings of the fantastic and the familiar in fiction she describes as “Southern-fried magic realism.” Clearly, it’s a recipe readers are happy to eat up as fast as she can dish it out.

Her published books to date are: Garden Spells (2007), The Sugar Queen (2008), The Girl Who Chased the Moon (2010), The Peach Keeper (2011) and Lost Lake (2014) and First Frost (2015).

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