Blurb (from Goodreads):
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it. The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures. A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants--from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys--except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before. When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down--along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom or with each other. Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“She was a Waverley, and Waverley’s were an odd bunch, each in his or her own way.”
This is the second time I’ve read this book and I really enjoyed it, I loved the magic, the quirks, and the ending was just so sweet!
I really liked the characters in this book, and I loved how the Waverley’s all had their own special gift, whether it be cooking or something more obtuse. I loved Evanelle’s gift most though, randomly having to give things to people! Even embarrassing things! But I just loved her, because she honestly couldn’t help it, and her gifts really did come in useful for the people she had to give them to!
“She gave me a ball of yarn once,” Henry said. “I was probably fourteen and we were on a school field trip downtown. I was so embarrassed. I threw it away. But the very next week I needed it when I was working on a school project.”
“Men in this town learn their lesson young when it comes to Waverley women,” Lester said, reaching for the cane he’d rested against the tree. He slowly stood. “Whenever there’s one around, sit up and pay attention.”
The storyline in this was good, and it was nice that Claire and Sydney found each other again. I loved the magic in this book, and the apple tree who liked to throw apples at people!
“Stop it,” she kept saying as the tree dropped apples around her, trying to vex her. “The more you drop, the more I bury. And you know it takes you a week to grow more.”
It dropped a small apple on her head.
She looked up at the branches, which were twitching slightly though there was no wind. “I said stop it.”
I loved Claire’s gift with food, and the marvellous creations she came up with, and the way everyone in town appreciated her for it, even if they didn’t know her well personally.
“She put his plate in front of him, the piece of cake was perfect and moist, the crystallized violets spilling over it like frosted jewels. It screamed, Look at me! But his eyes were on her.”
There was romance in this book, and it was quite subtle but romantic, and it really did seem like the girls in this book didn’t even realise what was right in front of their noses! It was so nice when things worked out though.
Sydney couldn’t quite get her mind around it. “What are you saying, Henry?”
“I’m saying I don’t want to be set up with your friend Amber.”
The dynamic changed in a flash. She was no longer sitting beside young Henry.
She was sitting beside the man in love with her.
The ending to this was great, and so sweet, and I was so glad that everything worked out okay for these girls! Really looking forward to reading book 2 now.
7.5 out of 10
"Everything was going to be okay now.
Perfect, in fact."