Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
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I really liked the magic of the tale. The apple tree, which seemed about as human as any of the people living on its property, had such an unusual power. From one bite of an apple, a person could see the biggest event of their life...I have to admit, try as I might that just doesn't seem to be that terrible. If I took a bite out of something and suddenly saw my own death, I'd figure I was hallucinating and call in to work sick. I have trouble believing one vision could impact me as much as it did the characters in the novel - but then, I wouldn't have grown up with family legends telling me about how powerful these things were.
I was also left wondering "Did the Waverly ancestors bring their magic to this place, or was the magic in the plants already growing in the garden and the family was 'adopted' into the magic?"
I would definitely compare this to Alice Hoffman, not least because of the mystical elements, Claire is a fantastic gardener and can cook emotions into the food she serves up in her catering business. Sydney's daughter knows where things belong. And Clair and Sydney's cousin Evanelle always knows when to give people things (including giving condoms to a married woman whose husband is known to be impotent). Great read, would love to read it again.
Because there were so many storylines, I felt the book should have been at least a hundred pages longer. There weren't any loose ends by the end, but I felt a few of the characters deserved more pages. I especially felt Claire's relationship was a little rushed. Likewise, I woudn't have minded a little glimpse into the grandmother's past.
I read this book in twenty four hours and I don't regret a second of it, but I do wish that if I suddenly decided to start over there would magically be more to the story. Now I want to learn how to crystallize violets so I can put them in a cake.
There was obviously much mention of food in the dish, with one of the main characters making magic in her kitchen through her meals. The main characters are notorious in their town for being part of a rather eccentric family.
The characters in the book are drawn out pretty well. The storyline is easy to follow. The mentions of food make me drool.
I am giving it a 3 not because it's not a good book, it really is, but because I still probably wouldn't read it or anything like it again as it's just not the type of book I usually gravitate towards
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