After Beautiful Ruins, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to read. I’d been on a New Releases kick (more than ever), and it’s difficult to blindly buy a book that Barnes&Noble isn’t currently recommending. I took to reading synopses online and had my choices narrowed to two…but I still wasn’t feeling them. Enter Garden Spells…I read the first sentence and knew I had to finish it. It took me less than 24 hours.
Sarah Addison Allen, the author of Garden Spells, paints a beautiful North Carolina town rich with history as the backdrop for the story of two sisters who reunite after years of separation and silence. This is the type of book that was made for me, really. And it reminded me a lot about my favorite teen author Elizabeth Chandler–the perfect mix of romance, intrigue and the supernatural. It had me grasping for the next book, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and I devoured it. I rounded out my stint with The Peach Keeper, which took me longer to finish simply because it landed on the weekend.
So. Yes, they are girly. Yes, they don’t take much thought. Yes, I’ll read them over and over. The pictures above capture some of the essence of each novel, with a great quote that captures the spirit in each book. All three have two main women as primary characters: Garden Spells has sisters Claire and Sydney Waverly, both with unusual gifts and a magical apple tree that grows in their backyard; The Girl Who Chased the Moon has teenager Emily Benedict and baker Julia Winterson, next door neighbors who find friendship in each other in a town they feel like outcasts; and The Peach Keeper has Willa Jackson and Paxton Osgood, two ladies linked by their grandmothers’ friendship and secrets. All the books have leading men with irresistible qualities and enough conflict to spice up each storyline.
During The Girl Who Chased the Moon I had an epiphany about myself, which is more enlightening than anything I’ve gotten from the previous books I’ve reviewed. None of the characters were leading extravagant lives. But as the books progressed, they became more of who they were intended to be. I was really reminded of Practical Magic (of course, I relate to Sally more than Jillian), and can only dream for a similarly simple and fulfilling life. I literally smiled and laughed in Sarah Addison Allen’s novels and enjoyed every word. Major thumbs up.