Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Garden Spells (copy)

Clair is at home in her garden and kitchen. From the time she rises in the morning until she lays her head in bed, she can be found tending to the Waverley garden and creating delicious recipes from its flowers, fruits, and herbs.

These culinary creations, known all over the county, have flourished into a profitable catering business. Wines, jams, jellies, soups, sauces, and breads producing heady smells in the kitchen and having a heady effect on consumers, are her specialties. This past week she whipped up a batch of Rose Geranium wine for her friend and neighbor Fred Walker. He is having a little love trouble with his partner of 16 years, and the mixture promises to bring back sweet memories.

The town folks rave over her concoctions and use her catering ecstatically, but they keep a distance from Clair personally. See, the Waverley family is a little different. Each member has a special gift such as Clair’s way with food. Her aunt, Evanelle, can predict other people’s needs. Out of the blue, she will walk up to you and hand you a knit hat in summer, but oddly enough it will come in handy before the end of the week. No, they are not witches; they are Waverleys, and long-lost baby sister is coming home.

At 28, Sydney is running away from an abusive boyfriend before he kills her or does damage to her 6-year-old daughter Bay. It has been 10 years since she has seen Bascom, NC, and her sister, Clair. While away she has been under an assumed name and believes they will be safe and untraceable back in her hometown. As you can guess, they are not.

Garden Spells is an enchanting read by new, Southern author Sarah Addison Allen. The book contains a mixture of mysticism, mystery, romance, and relationships. By mysticism, I mean a magical apple tree in the backyard which likes to throw apples at unsuspecting passer-bys.

I decided to give this book a try after going to the Lunch with Books at Senatobia Public Library. Lighty Durley and Jane Billingsley gave an informative program on culinary books which included yummy dessert. Culinary books contain plots with cooking and recipes as either vital character or scenery element to a story. Garden Spells is the latest one on the market; although it does not contain recipes. One will need to visit the author’s website for those.