read by Susan Ericksen
A fun blend of magical realism and romance set in a small town in the South, Garden Spells was a delight. This is the first book in what is called the Waverley Family series, and I'm certainly planning to read any subsequent books.
Claire Waverley is a 34-year-old single woman running a catering and baking business specializing in edible flowers and floral flavorings - and the magical effects they can produce. She lives alone in a large Queen Anne that belonged to the grandmother she grew up with, in the fictional small college town of Bascom, North Carolina. Claire's mother abandoned her there along with her six-years-younger sister Sydney, and disappeared. Sydney too left town in imitation of her mother, but comes back at the beginning of this story along with her five-year-old daughter, Bay.
It's not a deep book and is rather predictable (particularly the romance), but the plot is enjoyable and the characters are quirky yet endearing. This was author Sarah Addison Allen's first book, and her others sound interesting to me, too. Susan Ericksen does a fabulous job as the audiobook narrator. I especially liked her voices for Claire's and Sydney's elderly cousin Evanelle (who is compelled to give people things they later find useful), and the evil wealthy Southern matron Ariel Clark.
© Amanda Pape - 2016
[This audiobook was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]