Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sarah Addison Allen - Garden Spells

First, the blurb:
Welcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The old house that’s been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumors and innuendoes of dangerous loves and tragic passions. Eccentric, reclusive, or renegade, there’s not one that wasn’t somehow touched by magic.

As the town’s successful caterer, Claire has always clung closely to the Waverleys’ roots in their enchanted soil, tending the family garden from which she makes her much sought-after delicacies. She has everything she thinks she needs – until one day she finds a vine of ivy creeping into her garden and knows that everything is about to change.

Then her prodigal sister Sydney arrives with her five-year-old daughter and a dark secret she hopes to keep well hidden. And suddenly Claire’s carefully tended life is about to run gloriously out of control …

From Sarah Addison Allen's Website

This is such a lovely book - with a beautiful sense of magic. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up, but I couldn't put it down. At heart, it's about two sisters, but there's a wonderful romance (or two) woven into the story, and everything's dusted with that shimmering element of magic and enchantment. It's almost like a fairytale, but one grounded in the real world.

Have any of you read it? Thoughts? How about recommendations for other books with that same sense of magic and wonder?


bel_78 said...

The book seems interesting, but I haven´t read it yet. I´ve been studying quite a bit, so I haven´t any new book recommendations. All the same, I can recommed you a wonderful animated film I saw a few days ago: "Persepolis". It´s based on the life of a young woman that grew up in Iran, before and after the Islamic revolution that took place them. It´s funny and wistful, and the kind of film you cannot help but remember.


PS: Nalini, Hostage to pleasure already has its own link in Amazon :)

Anonymous said...

Ms. Nalini- Her new book, The Sugar Queen, will be out in May. It sounds very sweet, but I'll probably skim it in the bookstore first to get a feel for her writing before buying.

I've been watching films and reading mangas more lately(and more nonfiction stuff-so nothing fun to recommend).

Bel-I heard about that film!!! It was based on a comic book, which was a semi autobio (if I remember correctly)! Oh my gosh, where'd you watch it? I wanna watch too! (Now I sound like a 5 year old, please excuse me). Good luck in your classes, I know finals are coming up.
Thank you for telling me about the amazon link. Hostage to Pleasure is now in my cart awaiting payment at next pay. Mwahahahahaha. *ahem*


bel_78 said...

Ja ja :) I watched it in Argentina, Alice. Where do you live? The film was released in USA in late December, and will be released in UK in April 2008, more or less (I took that dates from wikipedia). I cannot believe it didn´t win a thing at the Oscars :( And thanks for the good wishes, I´ll need them :)


PS: If you are into good documentaries, look up one regarding Asian cinema (those are the key words) at It´s divided into chapters, and was made by the BBC. It rocks :)

Anonymous said...

Bel, I've seen bits of that movie. Must rent it.

Also, do you have the link for Amazon? It doesn't come up on any searches. Weird.

Alice - yep, I'm looking fwd to her next book :)

Anonymous said...

Bel- I live in the US, but it must have been a limited release. Or, I zoned out. Hahaha, probably the latter since I was going through a bit of rough times around December. I must get the dvd. Eh, Oscars. I don't believe them half the time, although Juno was a good choice this year. ^_^
You're welcome on the good wishes. Double good luck on the papers and tests, but remember to relax and rest up. ^_^ Now, I'm going to take your advice and take a look at youtube. Teehee.

Ms. Nalini-
Try that. ^_^

bel_78 said...

Nalini: Alice´s link works. Another way to find an author´s new releases is to select the "Sort by publication date" option in the window you can find in the upper right hand corner of the page, when you look up all the books written by a particular author at Amazon.

Alice: let me know what you think about that documentary, I think it´s quite engaging. A friend recommended it to me when he realized I didn´t know a thing about modern Asian cinema. He was shocked :)

Anonymous said...

Nalini, I looked by author, then scrolled down until I found it. No cover there yet, for some reason, but available for pre-orders.

Anonymous said...

The book does seem rather interesting - thank you Nalini! I'll have to, as Alice put it, investigate further :)

BTW, I'm currently reading Divided In Death. Ohhhhh, it's good! I like this one as it...without giving anything way...let's us see yet another side to Eve and Roarke's relationship!

Good luck with all the exams Bel and I hope everyone has a lovely Easter!


bel_78 said...

Thanks orannia :)

Anonymous said...

This book sounds interesting :-) Will have to browse through the bookstores here and see if it's available. The theme sounds almost similar to Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic. I love this book and hated the movie version *LOL*

Thanks for the tip, Nalini!