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Garden Spells (Bantam Discovery) Paperback – April 29, 2008
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In Twenty Years: A Novel
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Top Customer Reviews
I am nearly jealous of those who have not read it yet. It is a vibrant experience to live between the pages even if they turn so quickly.
As a first time novelist, Allen bewitches with savory prose and keen insight, leaving this reader to want more. Think of the very best fairy tale you were ever told; now pick up "Garden Spells" and read one of the best magical stories for adults this reader has enjoyed in a long, long time.
This is the story of 2 sisters who each find a different way to cope with a mother who was wild and abandoned them when they were young. Clare creates a very careful, cautious life for herself. Sydney, the younger sister, lives wildly trying to copy a mother she never knew. For a long time they have no contact until circumstances force them together. In the setting of a magical garden, the sisters need to confront their past in order to move forward.
This is the kind of book I like to read on a day when the world seems dark and depressing. It was light, yet still thoughtful. Magic permeates the story. It's full of delightful quirky characters and a romance which could be formulaic if the writer were not so skilled.
That out of the way, let me say that once again, as noted in the title for my review for Ms Allen's second novel, I always want more. It is a personal inclination to see possibility in things, in people, in situations. Not only that, but also the mapping-out of how everything might be brought to a higher state of potential. And with this début from Ms Allen, it's so much clearer to me what her strengths...and her weaknesses...are.
She has a wonderful knack with the fantastical. Presenting it in such a way as to not have it be some circus event, but rather something to be accepted. To be wondered at, but not in a mawkish way. Here is a very, very creative person, who has managed to go back to this well twice (three times, if the blurbs about her next effort are accurate), and provides the willing reader with a lot to smile about. Being able to 'charm' with something, whether it be a song, a painting, a magic act, a film, or a novel, is a blessed gift.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was a pleasant read--Hoffman's Practical Magic meets Diffenbaughs's Language of Flowers. I couldn't help but wonder if the author took two great novels and combined them. Read morePublished 2 days ago by SAR
I had never read any of Sarah's books but after reading this one, I am hooked. I've purchased all of her books and will be reading them one right after another.Published 2 days ago by Linda
What an enchanting book! When I was told to read a magical-realism book, I wasn't quite sure really what to expect. I can now say I'm a new fan of the genre. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kimberly D. Orosky
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, quick read with a different twist. I learned a little about herbs too!Published 10 days ago by Evonne
Captivating. Great light summer read. Would be a good one to have in paperback if you like to play around in the kitchen, as there's an index in back that describes foods and their... Read morePublished 11 days ago by geislerjen
Good writer though. Would like to read another novel of hers with different perspective! That was it but tells me i need to write six more words??????Published 12 days ago by Helsbabe
Garden Spells is magic realism at its best. Magically enhanced food, an apple tree that hurls apples and tries to entice people to eat them in order to see the best or worst day of... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Monster Alice