read by Susan Ericksen
This is a sequel to Garden Spells, set about ten years later. Some sequels can stand alone, but in this case, First Frost will make more sense if one has read Garden Spells first.
The Waverley sisters, Claire and Sydney, are now happily married, to Tyler and Henry respectively. Claire has an almost-ten-year-old daughter, Mariah, and Sydney's daughter Bay is now 15. Bay is a major character in this story, developing her "Waverley magic" and experiencing her first love.
Autumn is apparently a time of angst for Waverley women, and they eagerly await the "first frost" of the season when their quirky apple tree blooms (not surprising for a tree that can throw its apples). The frosted apple on the cover gains significance when one gets near the end of the story. Besides Bay's high school romance, her mother Sydney is anxious about her inability to conceive, and Claire is stressed out by her new candy-making business that has caused her to leave cooking and catering behind. A stranger in town ultimately helps her resolve her situation.
I'm very glad I listened to the audiobook, read (as Garden Spells was) by Susan Ericksen, as once again, she does a marvelous job giving character to the characters. I fully expect Sarah Addison Allen to have another book in this series, likely set about five years or so later when Bay is a young adult and Mariah is a teen. First Frost felt like it was setting up for that sequel.
© Amanda Pape - 2016
[This e-audiobook was purchased via Audible.com.]