Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells (2007) by Sarah Addison Allen is a book about family with just a touch of fantasy, and a Southern romance with a lot of whimsy.

I loved the quirky setting and the exaggerated characters of each of the families in this small, unique town. And I liked how fantasy elements were just woven into the story, as if that's how things are in the real world -- magic is always just right there under the surface waiting for the right circumstances to come out. Even a simple, everyday action like cooking food or cutting hair can create its own magic.

But the magic was only a small part of the book; the story itself is about relationships: romantic and familial, exciting, strained, and violent. At the heart of the story is the bond between two sisters who have had an unusual and not altogether loving relationship in the past. But the differences that kept them apart as children and young adults are also the things that have the potential to connect them as adults now that they are reunited. I liked that this was the relationship at the core of the book, and the rest of the story lines with romantic partners and others was important but somewhat secondary.

The secondary characters were all interesting and compelling, and the main characters were very easy to like and sympathize with. That combined with a great story and lovely, unique setting made this a really wonderful book.
“When you're happy for yourself, it fills you. When you're happy for someone else, it pours over. It was almost too bright to watch.” 
Keep reading! Beth

1 comment:

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