I tried my best to get through 100 Years of Solitude but I just couldn’t! I had no desire at all to finish it but felt bad that I had spent so much time getting half way through. Then I reminded myself that I was 40something years old and not in college or high school any more and did not have to finish the book. It wasn’t the end of the world that I would miss a few weeks of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. Whew, what a relief.
This one I had no problem at all finishing. In fact, I hated to see it end, just like The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased The Moon (also by Sarah Addison Allen.) In true Sarah Allen fashion, Garden Spells centers on women with mysterious traits and the conflicts these bring to their lives. In fact, the town featured in Garden Spells is full of families with such mysterious abilities. The Waverly sisters are our main characters. They work to overcome the abandonment issues brought on by a “free wheeling” mother, and to learn to accept their own special “gifts” while trying to lead somewhat normal lives.
Allen’s easy to read and colorful writing style has you connecting with the characters from page one. This is a book that you don’t want to put down, but also one you are able to pick up and get right back into at any point. What I like most about Allen is her ability to add the little mysteries and oddities into her story and make them completely believable and well, normal. The worlds she writes about are perfectly normal everyday scenes out of anywhere in America, but she spices them up with “magic realism.”
This book is not hard hitting literature but is certainly far enough from “fluff” to qualify as a good read to me. There are some detailed romantic encounters but they are brief and integral to the storyline. I highly recommend this book and all others by author Sarah Addison Allen.