Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen (review and giveaway)

Book #2 of "Reading Your Own Books Month"
 5 STARS!!!!!

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.
MY REVIEW -  This is my second book by Sarah Addison Allen (the first was "The Peach Keeper" review - HERE) and this was every bit just as good as the other! Magical Realism is fast becoming one of my favorite Genres. I loved how they never said "Witch" or called themselves "Witches" they each just had special gifts. I like that! Its more real to me. Lots of people have special gifts. This book did remind me of "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman, which I do not mind one bit because I love "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman!!!
I loved all the characters in this book. It was a great idea giving all the Waverley's different "gifts". That made the story so interesting.
Evanelle (79 yr. old distant cousin) - She had to give people things. She didn't know why or what they would be used for, she just knew they had to have them for some future purpose. A new set of sheets for some unexpected company, a quarter for someone who would need it to make an important phone call. I loved Evanelle, she was one of my favorites!
Claire (one of the sisters) - She owned a garden that had flowers and herbs that she would bake into cakes and muffins etc. with special powers. Rose-hip soup ensured that your company would notice only the beauty of your home and never the flaws, salads made with chicory and mint had you believe something good was going to happen, whether it was true or not.
Sydney (Claire's younger sister) - Could work magic with hair and she could tell things about people by the way their was that day.
Bay (Sydney's 5 yr. old daughter) - She knew where things belonged and what things and people belonged together and when. She also knew when things were put of place and when thing sis not go together.

This was a very fun and fast moving book! I read it in 2 days. It had a little bit of magic, a little bit of love, and a little bit of conflict. If you like Magical Realism at all, you will love this book! I am ready for another Sarah Addison Allen book, please!

GIVEAWAY - I am giving away my beautiful hard cover copy of this book!
* Please either comment here or email me at forevereading at gmail dot com with your email address!! No email, no entry.
* Please be from the US or Canada.
* If you are not a follower, please become one (but not necessary to win).
* Winner will be chosen and announced via random.org on Sept. 23rd.
* Winner will then have 48 hrs to respond with their mailing address before a new winner is chosen.

**Please be aware that I do not have any rules on how many of my contests you enter or how many times you win! So good luck everyone!


  1. I liked this one.
    But Sugar Queen & The Girl the Chased the Moon are my favs.
    Happy SAA reading.
    She's perfect for this time of year.
    (not an entry)

  2. AHHHHHH! I want this book! Thank you for this giveaway!


  3. I liked this better than The Peach Keeper, and can see what others had said why they didn't like TPK as well after reading this. I was getting that Practical Magic vibe too.

    I'm going to post my blurb for the challenge, so I'll link to your giveaway for you =)

  4. I have this book on my shelf, and after having read and loved The Peach Keeper I am eager to get to this one! I also really want to read The Sugar Queen as well. Allen has a rare talent in creating the types of books that are so engrossing and special that I can't put them down. Great review!

  5. thanks for the chance to read this magical story ;)

    i'm a follower, too

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  6. Everyone can use a little bit of magic!

  7. Oh, this sounds so good! I love books with "magical" elements in them without them being all sexed up - if you know what I mean. :)
    lvsgund at gmail.com

  8. sounds good...

  9. I've only read the Peach Keeper. This is awesome!


  10. Please enter me in the draw and thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC Darlene
    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  11. This book sounds so good, I would love to read it.

    I follow by google reader under cenya2.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  12. I loved this book! I've read all of her books but this one still remains my favorite.

  13. I have never heard of this book before but I love the sound of it. I can’t wait to read it.

    hootowl1978 at gmail dot com

  14. Magical Realism is my favorite sub genre as well!! I've read this one and the next two but have yet to read The Peach Keeper. So far this was my absolute favorite!! I'd love to actually own a copy!!

    melissaseclecticbookshelf at gmail dot com

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf