When considering what I would write for Emilie’s Book World I became indecisive. What could I write to a group of readers that would be eye-catching? What could I say that would give the best example of who I am as a book blogger and reflect what I write about on my own blog, Soon Remembered Tales? I thought of all the books I have read and having just come out of a hiatus myself I hadn’t the chance to read anything new.
But then it dawned on me while talking to a friend. We had been discussing the weather: it was snowing where she was and it was just dead and cold at my house. The summer warmth, the flowers in the garden, and the leaf filled trees felt as if they were a lifetime away. It made me think of my favorite winter read: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. When winter has me in its grasp I look to spring. The brightening sun, the resurgence of life, its all so magical and Allen captures that magic in her novel.
The Waverly’s were always seen as odd to the residents of Bascom, North Carolina. Claire accepts her label of being strange and dives deeper still. Living in the house she and her sister Sydney grew up in Claire runs a successful catering business. With the aide of her flourishing garden and the ever-watchful apple tree, which has a mind of its own, Claire creates delicacies that are more than just food- they hold powers. Eat a meal with lavender and your spirits will rise. Try some chicory if you need to conceal your bitterness. But when Claire’s wild-child of a sister Sydney returns to Bascom her troubles are close behind. Claire finds that she can no longer hide within her kitchen and she must step forward into the drama. The apple tree tries to provide as many answers as possible but at times you forget to listen to nature. Featuring a slew of characters you will love and hate it will be easy to become emotionally invested in this novel. Throw in the wonderfully worded descriptions of the hot North Carolina summertime and the enchanted garden you will find it easy to forget the winter weather outdoors.
Garden Spells is a book I can’t get enough of. I’ve read this so many times that I’ve lost count. The warm summer world of Bascom, North Carolina nearly feels like home at this point and I welcome you to come and experience it as well. So, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and you’re suffering from the winter doldrums I urge you to read Garden Spells and enjoy a little bit of summer.