Review: GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen

Claire Waverley leads a structured and serene lifestyle catering dinner parties, business lunches and local events in her small college town of Bascom, North Carolina and living in the house she inherited from her late grandmother. Claire minds her own business, preferring the company of cousin, Evanelle, an elderly woman with tendencies of unusual “generosity” in that she sometimes has an overwhelming urge to give something, say a paperclip, and neither she or the bemused recipient will know why until later when the item’s use will suddenly become obviously apparent. Evanelle, like Claire, is a Waverley, and the Waverley’s have always been strange. They seem possess a 6th sense that gives them the ability to affect other’s lives and because of this, they’ve been avoided, laughed at, or in some cases simply tolerated by some of the less than tolerant townspeople. At 34, however, Claire Waverley is comfortable with herself and is running a lucrative business, until that is her neighbour Tyler discovers her and her long-long sister, Sydney, reappears after 10 years, toting her 5 year old daughter with her. Claire’s life is turned upside down and she deals with changes in her life in the best way she knows how – by trying to stave them off as best she can.

This is a very sweet novel of a woman’s challenges in dealing with change in her life when all she thought she wanted was no change at all.



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