One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is a lighthearted romance with a touch of magic. The Waverley women of Bascom, North Carolina all have a special skill (magic) which some accept and some do not. Claire Waverly is at peace with her family inheritance, living alone in the ancestral Queen Anne home running her catering business by herself. The business thrives because of the magic from her garden that she measures into her cooking. The townsfolk will pay for lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. Claire has all but secluded herself when her rebellious sister Sydney shows up with a young daughter. About the same time Claire meets the new guy in town, Tyler. Claire’s life is turned upside down.
The book centers on Claire and Sydney as they rebuild their relationship. The thread of relationships throughout also connects Claire and Tyler and Sydney and her childhood friend Henry. The depth of the characters is surprising. All of them are oddballs for sure, but honest and real. The flavor of the magic as well as the old southern charm feels as old as time but as fresh as the morning dew. Overall, Garden Spells was a cute, quick read with likable characters, a richly detailed setting, and an enjoyable plot. It asks nothing of the reader but to enjoy it. That’s not hard.
Click here to see my goals for 2015