Thursday, May 21, 2020

Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen. Bantam Books, 2007

The Waverly family has always been a bit… odd. They have gifts, and this makes them outsiders. Even the apple tree has a reputation- and a temper. Generations of Waverlys have lived and gardened at the family home. Now, Claire is a caterer. Her dishes are not just delicious, but magical. Made with plants from her garden, they can protect, promote love, and more. Her cousin Evanelle has a talent for giving the gifts you don’t need- yet. Now Claire’s sister Sydney is suddenly back, after years with no contact, along with her young daughter. The sisters need to heal from their pasts, but can they? 

The bones of this story are pretty close to those of “Practical Magic”. Allen doesn’t write with the ability to grab your heart and shake it like Hoffman does, though. It’s a pleasant enough book and I enjoyed reading it; I doubt I’ll read more of the series, however, even though I tend to love magical realism and magical plants.

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