Welcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women.
The house that's been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumours of dangerous loves and tragic passions.
Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic. Claire has always clung to the Waverleys' roots, tending the enchanted soil in the family garden from which she makes her sought-after delicacies - famed and feared for their curious effects.
She has everything she thinks she needs - until one day she waked to find a stranger has moved in next door and a vine of ivy has crept into her garden ...Claire's carefully tended life is about to run gloriously out of control.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 15/05/2008
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780340935743
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by elliepotten
This book was like a fabulous fusion of <i>Like Water for Chocolate</i> and <i>Practical Magic</i>. In short, magical and delicious! Where there were the mysterious Owens women and their supernatural powers, there are the mysterious Waverley women and their unique gifts; where there was downtrodden Tita and her passion-infused cooking, there is quiet Claire and her ever-blooming edible flowers... There are even two chalk 'n' cheese sisters, one homegirl, one tearaway, like Gillian and Sally!Anyway, back to <i>this</i> book. The plot centres around two sisters, Claire and Sydney Waverley. Claire lives in her grandmother's old house in a small town, keeping to herself, running a catering company and tending her amazing garden. This garden is surrounded by high walls and cloaked in mystery, because the flowers there grow all year round, and the apple tree is rumoured to produce fruit that will reveal the biggest event of the eater's life, for good or bad. Wild Sydney is on the run with her little daughter Bay, desperate to escape an abusive relationship. To her despair, she realises she has no option but to go home and claim the sanctuary of her home town, even though it means returning to her roots as a 'strange' Waverley woman. For Claire, life is about to be turned upside down as Sydney and Bay arrive on her doorstep and handsome Tyler moves in next door, shattering her solitude forever...This is a wonderful book. It is frothy and fun, with an abundance of quirky romance and quick-witted humour. Claire and Sydney play off each other's clashing personalities beautifully, and there are some wonderful small-town characters. Evanelle, a distant Waverley cousin with a penchant for young mens' bottoms and a talent for giving people what they need just before they need it, is particularly delightful, and the mischievous apple tree is almost a character in its own right! At the same time, the family relationships are deftly written, and there are some genuinely frightening moments as Sydney tries to escape from Bay's abusive father, whose presence lingers menacingly through the whole novel. The verdict? Highly recommended - and I'm glad I have <i>The Sugar Queen</i> already waiting on my shelves!
Review by phoebesmum
Small-town American romance tinged with fantasy; lightweight fluff, but sweet, and a nice, easy read. It does bear mentioning, however, that the story and tone are very, very similar to 'Practical Magic' – not the book, but the film – perhaps a little too much so for comfort.
Review by mrn945
This was an amazingly charming book! It was sweet and simple.I wish I could come up with a better adjective, however the book simply made me smile. In the end, can there be a better endorsement than that?The book explores the relationship between two sisters who were abandoned by their mother. Raised in a small town by their grandmother, these girls come from a gifted family. Claire has a gift with flowers and food, her sister with hair. Both have to discover how to trust again.The formula in and of itself is not unusual. I could probably find a dozen books with a similar plot line in a matter of minutes. Ms. Allen however does something unique with this book however. Her writing is clear and engaging - the descriptions are enchanting. She has created an imaginative world which is hard not to fall in love with.
Review by katelnorth
Not sure where I picked this up - perhaps Amazon recommended it to me when I bought some Alice Hoffman - it would certainly have been an apt recommendation for those who enjoy Hoffman. This was very much in that vein - small towns, magical women, bittersweetness, mystery, and so on, but as it's a vein I enjoy I was happy.