Friday, April 03, 2015
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
I had to Google my own blog to find out when I read Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (link leads to my review). 2007! I remember finding the ARC on a cart at my former library, where they occasionally give away advance reader copies rather than throwing them away as many libraries do. I loved the cover, the characters, the relationships, the crazy enchanted apple tree. I was excited to find a new author whose storytelling swept me away and couldn't wait to find out what she'd come up with, next. I've loved every book I've read by Sarah, but Garden Spells has always held a special place in my heart. So, I was excited when I heard the news that she was writing a book that continued the story of the Waverley family.
In First Frost, Claire and Sydney are older, happily married; they both have daughters. The Waverleys are always uneasy as they wait for the first frost of the season, when their crazy apple tree will bloom. Claire has stopped catering as her candy business has grown. She doesn't want to sell her recipes but she's finding it difficult keeping up with the orders and is clearly not as happy as she was during her catering years. Sydney is worried about Bay's potential relationship with a boy from the wrong family. Bay is headstrong like the rest of the women in the family, trying to find her way without being outwardly rebellious. Evanelle's health is failing. There's a stranger whose appearance in town is unsettling and then threatening. And, Claire and Sydney puzzle over whether or not every Waverley woman has a gift.
I love Sarah Addison Allen's writing, in general, but there is definitely something extra special about the Waverleys, their unique gifts and that hilarious apple tree. I kept my copy of Garden Spells and I'm glad I bought a copy of First Frost. I know I'll want to revisit both, in the future.
I have a copy of the British version of First Frost because I prefer paperback. In the past, I've kept a list of books that I want to buy in paperback for trips to the UK, but I've recently taken to buying from Book Depository if a paperback is not yet available in the U.S. (and I'm feeling impatient). I like both of the covers - the frosty apple on the American cover and the heavily floral British version. But, a part of me does wish one or the other had matched the artwork to that of Garden Spells.
Highly recommended - Familiar characters with Allen's trademark magical touch and lovely storytelling make First Frost another keeper.
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