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Jess Haines

I'm an author, a dreamer, a paperback reader...

Currently reading

Hunter's Moon (Tales of the Sazi, Book 1)
'C. T. Adams', 'Cathy Clamp'
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen I love this book. I love it so hard.

GARDEN SPELLS is a sweet, magical story. The people of this tiny town of North Carolina are so real and relatable that you can’t help but fall in love with them.

Claire, the main character, seems a no-nonsense sort, even though she owns a magical garden and learned how to use certain plants from it in her recipes for her catering business to elicit certain reactions from those who eat the food she prepares. It’s quite clever, really. I love how the hardcover version I have of this book includes a reference guide in the back of what plants cause what reactions. Her sister, Sydney, lived a wild and carefree lifestyle which resulted in her landing in an abusive relationship and being unable to leave due to her daughter.

When Sydney flees from Seattle with her child so they can hide with her sister, you can easily see how hard it is for these two women to reconcile their bitter childhood together. Both of them envied the other for different reasons, and it’s both poignant and lovely to see how they gradually overcome and settle their differences and come to love and trust each other as sisters should. They are both hesitant to give love a chance, both with each other, and with the men in their lives, so it is truly beautiful and moving to see how they open up to their respective love interests.

The secondary characters are just as lovely and real and funny and flawed and heartbreaking as Claire and Sydney. Including the silly enchanted apple tree that throws apples at you when it wants your attention, and whose fruit, when eaten, shows you the most significant event to come in your life.

While the book does contain supernatural elements, such as the garden and tree, these aspects work more to complement the characters and are worked with such a deft hand that I believe regardless of whether you are a fan of paranormal or contemporary romance, you will find something to love about this story.

There are so many little details and lovely turns and so many insightful moments to this book that it is very difficult for me to keep this review both short and relatively spoiler-free. It really is best to discover this town and the people in it on your own. If you are a fan of sweet and moving love stories with a touch of humor, you must read this book. In that regard, it is pretty much perfect.