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Garden Spells    by Sarah Addison Allen order for
Garden Spells
by Sarah Addison Allen
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Claire Waverley owns and operates a successful catering service from her home in Bascom, North Carolina. She also loves to garden and incorporates her magical flowers into her recipes. The apple tree in her back yard yields fruit that if eaten, will show the future. Claire's nasturtiums aid in keeping secrets, and the snapdragons are intended to discourage the attention of her neighbour Tyler. For generations the Waverley's have been considered different - they have been endowed with peculiar gifts.

Claire and her younger sister Sydney were abandoned as young children by their mother and raised by their grandmother. Sydney left town ten years earlier, when she was a rebellious teenager. Claire was left to deal with the death of their grandmother and to care for their elderly cousin Evanelle. Evanelle also has the Waverley gift. She gives people objects that she knows they will need at some time in the future.

Now Sydney has returned home with her young daughter Bay. Claire's quiet life is disrupted and she has to learn to accept Sydney and appreciate that it is all right to depend on people. Sydney is reluctant to confide in Claire about her nomadic lifestyle and the abusive boyfriend from whom she is fleeing. Both Claire and Sydney know that they have to accept and deal with the gift they have been given in order to feel at home in Bascom.

Garden Spells was a joy to read - an enchanting story of family and love. I look forward to Sarah Addison Allen's next book.

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