Monday, September 15, 2008


I've been wanting to read Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells for awhile now but it has been mysteriously missing. The catalog claimed it was available but for weeks it wasn't on the shelf. Well, the library gnome must have returned the book to its rightful spot because it was finally on the shelf Saturday!

Whoever designs Allen's book covers is so talented--they're simply works of art. (And what a pretty cover font!)

The story is about two sisters, Claire and Sydney Waverly. Each girl has a special gift--Claire's gift of gardening is basically her life. (I can't tell you about Sydney's.) The women deal with their past and their future, while weaving in plenty of magic realism. There's also romance. The story reminded me a bit of Paula Wall's The Rock Orchard (another Southern magic realism book).

This story is darker than Allen's The Sugar Queen. Sydney's past is uglier and her problems more real than Josey's. While I do prefer The Sugar Queen, I thoroughly liked this book. I'm a sucker for Southern lit and magic realism--mixed together, I was a goner.

Rating: 8.5/10

1 comment:

E&M said...

I read the book before it came out because Sarah was coming to the bookstore for an author event. I enjoyed the easiness of the read and the character development but it was too much for me. The ending was ridiculous and no matter how much you've always wanted to write a romance novel, the force-injected sensuality was laughable and awkward. Nice lady, mediocre book. Not sure if I want to read anymore of her works.