In trying to find a nice middle ground between depressing and heavy (their words) and light and fluffy (my words), Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was picked for my real life book club. Interestingly enough, even though this is the kind of book people prefer (lighter and happier), only 4 of us (including me) showed up for the book club meeting to discuss this book.
Garden Spells is about the Waverly family and the secrets they keep to themselves, magical secrets. For one, the family house that Claire lives in has a tree that grows apples year ’round, though it’s not just any apple tree, it’s a magical apple tree.
Sisters Claire and Sydney, Claire being the responsible one who’s stayed in the family house to take care of things, and Sydney, the flighty one who left town at her first opportunity. Sydney is now back in town (as sisters in books are wont to do) and staying with Claire, and no matter that years have passed, there is still friction between these two.
Let the strangeness begin.
Claire, a caterer, has a knack for knowing what plants will bring out what quality in people. Sydney is basically bitter that she’s received no special gift when every other female in their line has received a gift. Even their older cousin, Evanelle, has a gift: she knows what people will be needing before they need it. Evanelle must deliver these things to others, herself not knowing why they might need what she’s moved to give them.
Can I just whisper in your ear that Evanelle was hands-down the best character in the book?
And while I loved this book, I have to admit that it’s not very deep and the book club discussion was uninspired. I saw a parallel between Garden Spells and my much loved Time of My Life, and was telling the group how I saw similarities in the book, but how TOML was much deeper and more profound than GS.
This is the perfect time to point out that my ratings of books are never meant to be compared to each other. Each rating is a stand-alone rating, in that each book is only compared to itself. If I was to compare Garden Spells with Time of My Life, GS would be rated pretty low, as TOML digs deep where GS just skims the surface. But since books are only compared to themselves, which is to say, are they the best they can be?, each book is rated on its own merits.
With that said, Garden Spells was an absolutely fun read that I’ll be adding to my permanent book collection, and I’ll also be seeking out the author’s other works.
Rating: 90 out of 100
Reading Matters (check out this review just to see the UK cover!)
(there’s lots more reviews, but you get the idea)
Book source: I bought this book myself.
And one more thing? If you click on one of the Garden Spells links and buy something from Amazon, I’ll make a commission! Mwahahahaha!! Maybe with the pennies I make I’ll be able to call someone who cares.
You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!