weekendhighlight

It’s time for our weekly highlight.  Yes, that book that UTC is dying for everyone to read this week.  It’s our recommendation and we are giving you a chance to win it!

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Sarah Addison Allen

Now let’s hear it from Suzanne!

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Weekend Highlight: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Garden Spells
Book Info

Released: August 28th 2007
Genre: Womens Fiction
Series: Waverley Family #1
Published by Bantam
Pages: 307
 

The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother's unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town's constraints. Using her grandmother's mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business -- and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life -- upon the family's peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. With Sydney's homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire's own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney's child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.

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READING ORDER & BUY LINKS

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About Sarah Addison Allen

New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction -- a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility. Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sarah grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journalist father for the former and her mother, a fabulous cook, for the latter). In college, she majored in literature - because, as she puts it, "I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate."

After graduation, her big break occurred in 2007 with the publication of her first mainstream novel, Garden Spells, a modern-day fairy tale about an enchanted apple tree and the family of North Carolina women who tend it. Booklist called Sarah's accomplished debut "spellbindingly charming." The novel became a Barnes & Noble Recommends selection, and a New York Times Bestseller.

After publishing four bestselling books in five years, Sarah took a hiatus when she was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer at age 39. She returned to writing with her 2014 bestselling Lost Lake. She is now in remission. In 2015, she revisited the popular setting of her first book. First Frost continues the story of the Waverely Sisters from Garden Spells.

With 2 million books now in print and translated into 30 languages, Sarah continues to serve heaping helpings of the fantastic and the familiar in fiction she describes as "Southern-fried magic realism." Her books to date are: Garden Spells (2007), The Sugar Queen (2008), The Girl Who Chased the Moon (2010), The Peach Keeper (2011), Lost Lake (2014) and First Frost (2015).

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Elizabeth

Thanks for the review suzanne

Timitra

I’m really intrigued by this book, thanks Suzanne!

Sophia Rose

I read all the fantastic reviews for this one a while back and put it on my list, but didn’t get around to it. Thanks for reminding me that I need to read it, Suzanne. 🙂

Esther Gerdzen

Sounds great 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

Laura Lovejoy Brunk

This sounds very good !

EC

How fascinating! 🙂

Amy R

This sounds like a fun read.

Sharyonda

We all wish to be put under Garden Spells!