Book Review: Garden Spells by Sarah Allen
December 17, 2011 17 Comments
This was a book for my real-life book group. It is not a standard reading group book, and if I’m honest, there is not all that much to discuss about it. But we wanted an easy read in the busy month of December and that’s what this was!
Garden Spells: What it is about
Sydney Waverly escapes her marriage to David by climbing out of the window, so her neighbour can’t raise the alarm and call David, who is on a business trip. She takes her daughter Bay with her and drives across country back to her childhood home, where her sister Claire is still living.
Claire is a caterer and uses the flowers and herbs from her garden in her meals, as they are said to have special powers. Sydney stays with Claire and helps her with her business. Her former high school boyfriend and his wife think she’s returned to come and steal him away. However, Claire only wants a quiet life.
There is the constant worry that David will find out where she went. Meanwhile Claire is making meals with ingredients that should keep her new neighbour Tyler away from her (Claire), but he seems to be resistant!
Garden Spells: What I thought
This was a fun and easy to read book. I finished it in one day (a lot on a train journey and then the rest in the evening).
It was fun to read about the sisters, who are drawn to each other although they are slightly mistrustful of each other after not having seen each other for a long time.
There were a few men in the book, such as the old boyfriend, the neighbour, and one or two others, and they served only as love objects for the sisters (or decoys for the reader). That was a bit too obvious, but they were great guys and it made a fun story.
I liked it that the magic was very subtle. Most of the time, what happened could be explained away in other ways, so there was no waving with wands or calling out spells.
What I liked a lot was an old aunt who’d come by with objects that no one needed but they would accept graciously. Then, a few days later, they’d find that they really needed that object for something important. This happened several times.
In all, a fun and easy book to read, with some magic and romance.
I got this book: from the library
I read this in: Dutch (Liefdeskunsten, the original language is English)
Number of pages: 270
First published: 2007
Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, magic realism