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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garden Spells

Allen, Sarah Addison. Garden Spells.

6 word synopsis: Practical Magic redux. Light, lovely, charming.

Fun read with charming characters, magic, and romance. The Waverly clan from Bascom, North Carolina, are in possession of a magic apple tree and unique talents. I couldn't put Garden Spells down and although much of it is predictable, that was exactly what I wanted. A feel-good book with likable, if flawed, characters; character development might be a bit light, but suits the fairy-tale atmosphere.

I especially liked Evanelle, the 79 year old aunt who jogs in order to watch the cute behinds of young men and is compelled to give strange, but prophetic gifts. The conclusion is a bit abrupt, but overall, I had a great time with this magical little tale. An evening's read.

I found this one on the library shelf, loved the cover, and remembered that Bookfool had liked it. Her review is here.

Fiction. Magical realism. 2007. 290 pages.


  1. I keep picking this up in hardback and stroking it. I usually only read paperbacks and am trying to be patient for this to come out. Thanks for the review, I am off to check when it is released!

  2. jenclair said...
    "Kay mentioned Practical Magic by Hoffman, which is exactly what I thought of as I read your review. Sounds good, Maggie."

    10:05 AM

    So, how did you feel about her similarities with Hoffman?

  3. This sounds just like my kind of book!

  4. I will have to reserve this one. I have heard nothing but good things
    about it. Love your blog too.

  5. This one just arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the review.

  6. I've got to get this one read. I am hearing so many good things and as mentioned above, I thought of PRACTICAL MAGIC when I read about it. My manager at my branch of the library loved this book and keeps asking me if I've read it yet. Guess I need to pull out my copy and read it. Maybe when I go on vacation next month.

  7. Rhinoa - It is a light, fun read. Hope you enjoy it when it comes out in paper back!

    Maggie - I liked this one better than Hoffman's book. Practical Magic was a book that I only half-liked, but I loved the movie. This one would make a lovely movie, too.

    Nymeth - Yes, lots of magic in simple, every day ways!

    Joy - It was a delightful modern fairy tale, and thanks!

    Lisa - I think you'll like it -- many similarities to Harris' Chocolat.

    Kay - Yes, the similarities to Practical Magic are there, but I liked it better. It will be a great vacation read.

  8. Oooh...I'm glad you liked it!! I'm reading this one for the Southern Reading Challenge! I never read Practical Magic, but I highly enjoyed the movie.

  9. I added a copy recently to my TBR collection and am so glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Jenclair.

  10. Good review! I liked this book, too, and just found out from Library Thing that I'll be getting her 2nd novel, The Sugar Queen, for early review= I'm excited!

  11. I was reading along, thinking, "That's exactly how I felt!" And, then I noticed you linked to my review, so I guess you knew that. :) Thanks for the link! A friend told me she has an ARC of Allen's latest release, so I'm crossing my fingers that it will be just as magical.

  12. I'm reading this now and loving it. Thanks for the rec!

  13. I have read so many good things about this book and have picked it up several times in the bookstore. Next time I'm going to have to take the plunge and bring it home.

  14. This book made me smile. Sometimes not much does.

  15. Stephanie - I did like it and hope you do, too!

    LF - Oh, those TBR collections-- My stacks just keep increasing!

    Lisa - Lucky you! I hope The Sugar Queen is as pleasant and enjoyable as her first one. I'll be looking for your review.

    Bookfool - When I saw it in the library, I remembered that you had enjoyed it. I didn't read your review again until after I wrote mine and was surprised at how close they were. :)

    Alessandra - I will be checking for your review!

    Carl - You should like it, Carl. It is light and fun, and I loved the characters!

    bibliochef - Another fan, then. It made me smile, too.

  16. My list gets longer - this sounds like the right fit for me just now. Reading a Robin Pilcher and am a bit bored. No magic yet...sounds enchanting!

  17. Mary - I love that some books are the "right fit" for the moment. The book and the timing are both important, and I love magic almost anytime.

  18. Good to know! I have seen this book on the shelf and it looked like fluff but there's definitely a difference between reading good fluff and bad fluff! I might give this one a try when I'm in next in the mood for some light reading. Thanks!

  19. Lesley - It is fun fluff! A great light read that leaves you feeling good.

  20. Hey,
    I respect your work very much. Well worded talent goes far in the journalism career. Keep up the good work, so far I've clearly understood and followed up with your writings and I just want to throw some kudos at you, very good to hear people putting their mind to words the clear way :)
    Anyways, until the next time I run across your page, c ya' ciao!