Friday, July 11, 2008

Magically Delicious!

Slowly, but surely, I'm finding my way through a vast number of challenge books!! My year in reading started out very slow. I think I only read 2 books in January and 2 in February...if that. But in June, I managed 6, and I've already read 3 in July. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is my first book read for Maggie's Southern Reading Challenge. What a treat it was!! What is it about me and books dealing with magic??

Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dreamed of her childhood. She always tried to stay awake those nights when the stars winked and the moon was just a cresting sliver smiling provocatively down at the world, the way pretty women on vintage billboards used to smile as they sold cigarettes and limeade.


Pretty, isn't it?? Being a Waverly in Bascom, North Carolina, meant people looked at you a little differently. For many generations, the Waverly's were considered odd. Claire Waverly, from the age of 6, grew up in Bascom at her Grandmother's house. The Waverly garden has been a legend for many years. If you ate an apple from the tree you would see the most important thing that would happen to you in your lifetime. Not really a good thing, to be honest. The flowers were all edible, and had some remarkable affects on people. It was one of the reasons Claire had become such a successful caterer. She could make all sorts of delectable items, each containing some mystical flower from the Waverly garden.

Sydney Waverly was Claire's younger sister. For her, growing up a Waverly was awful. She hated the fact that her family was different and went out of her way to be like the other kids in school. In the end, she took off right out of high school and never looked back at Bascom....until now. Sydney and her 5-year-old daughter were on the run, from an abusive man. The only place Sydney could think of going that would be safe was back to Bascom and Claire.

Now Claire's very quiet, solitary life has been turned completely upside-down. Throw in a smitten art professor that has moved next door, an aunt that has the ability to always know when a person needs something, a gay gourmet grocer that has lost the love of his life, lots of people from Sydney's past: both friends and enemies, and Claire doesn't know what has hit her. But the one thing Claire she DOES know is that she wants to reconnect with her sister. And keep her safe from the past she is running from.

Now, I never did read the book Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. But I did see the movie. And I know it's been said before, but it wasn't difficult to draw a lot of similarities between it and this story. BUT, that being said, this is a highly enjoyable read. The characters were well drawn out, and I really wanted good things to happen to them. Quirky Aunt Evanelle was a hoot! I just loved it when Fred moves in. And I thought the interaction between Claire and Sydney was very realistic of how sisters would act.

The story was a little predictable, but in the end, I still completely enjoyed it. It was a little mystical, a little romantic, a little mysterious, and a whole lot of fun! 4/5

14 comments:

jenclair said...

It was a little predictable and certainly imitative of Hoffman, but I loved it anyway. Especially Evanelle!

Nymeth said...

I've lost count of how many irresistible reviews of this one I've read! It really sounds like something I'll enjoy.

Dar said...

I loved this book. I agree it's predictable but that's part of it's charm I think. The Sugar Queen by her is quite good also.

Debi said...

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I think I'm going to read The Sugar Queen for the Southern Challenge. Well, I hope I am anyway...I don't seem to be getting much reading done at all this month. :(

Ladytink_534 said...

This sounds so good! I voted for it as a reading group read for September.

Framed said...

I bought this book by accident. Sounds like serendipity.

Teddy Rose said...

Very nice review! I've been hearing som many good things about this book and it is on my TBR.

Andi said...

YAY! I'm so glad you liked this one as much as I did. I loved Evanelle, too, and Fred's moving in was a hoot! I have The Sugar Queen waiting for me on my library stack as we speak.

Amanda said...

Hello!

I just wanted to let you know that I greatly enjoy your blog and I've tagged you for an (optional of course!) meme at:

http://lifeandtimesofanewnewyorker.blogspot.com

Thanks!

P.S. I've been wanting to read this book. Thanks for the review! I love Hoffman and especially Practical Magic.

cj said...

It is a lovely little book, isn't it? I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm glad you did, too.

cjh

naida said...

It sounds like a great read, I like the cover as well.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com

Melody said...

I want to add this book to my wishlist! I've heard raves about this book so I'll look out for it during my next trip to the bookstore. :)

____Maggie said...

Yippee! Is this one down two to go or two down one to go? Huh? Keep up the good southern reading! :)

Rhinoa said...

Sounds like a good mix of genres. I have been wanting to get a copy of this since it came out but have been waiting for the paperback. Must check if it's out yet.