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Extended Audio Sample Garden Spells Audiobook, by Sarah Addison Allen Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (34,296 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Addison Allen Narrator: Susan Ericksen Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2007 ISBN: 9781423333357
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The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Garden Spells is so tender and enchanting, it drew me in on page one and held me captivated—without letting me go for even a minute—until the end. I fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen’s writing and her world. She believes in love, and that’s her magic: she conjures a garden of moon vine and angel’s trumpet, fills it with characters who need each other, and writes so well you’ll never forget any of them.”

    Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

  • Garden Spells is truly spellbinding, beautifully crafted, and as bewitching as the title suggests. This is Southern charm at its most beguiling, with characters you’ll take to your heart, a delicious love story, and a magical garden you’ll wish was in your own backyard. I devoured it in one sitting and was left eagerly awaiting Sarah Addison Allen’s next novel.”

    Eileen Goudge, New York Times bestselling author

  • Garden Spellsis a rare and mesmerizing novel, brimming with light and fierce joy and the sharp shadows that must accompany such a tale. I desperately want to go live in Bascom and fall asleep in the Waverleys’ garden and let the magic and sweetness fill my every hour with its heady sense of possibility. So will you. This is one of the most charming books I’ve read in ages!”

    Barbara Samuel, RITA Award–winning author

  • “Charming…[Imbued] with a Southern charm that readers won’t want to resist any more than they would Claire’s violet cake.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Spellbindingly charming, Allen’s impressively accomplished debut novel will bewitch fans of Alice Hoffman and Laura Esquivel, as her entrancing brand of magic realism nimbly blends the evanescent desires of hopeless romantics with the inherent wariness of those who have been hurt once too often.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “It’s refreshing to find a Southern novel that doesn’t depend on folksy humor or stereotypes but instead on the imaginative use of magical realism. Just buy it, read it, and recommend it to others.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “The blending of horticultural folklore, the supernatural, and a big dollop of Southern flavor should find favor with a wide swath of readers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Sarah Addison Allen has crafted a wonderful story that will cast a spell on everyone who has the pleasure of reading it. Garden Spells has a harvest of rich characters, a plot that will have you checking what you eat, and a heart that is overflowing with the tangled joys and sorrows of love and life.”

    Kris Radish, bestselling author of A Grand Day to Get Lost

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 penelopewanders | 2/18/2014

    " This is the second book I've read by this author and I'll definitely look out for some more. Not only did I find the plot entertaining, but I enjoyed the actual prose and imagery as well. Lovely holiday read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb | 2/5/2014

    " almost identical to the movie Practical Magic..it was so-so...it was HO HUM..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Brenner | 2/4/2014

    " This is a wonderfully uplifting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 2/2/2014

    " This was a quick easy read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While going about my normal day when I was reading the book, I would wonder what the characters were doing as thought they were real people, and could not wait to get back to reading. Magickal and wonderful! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 1/24/2014

    " Interesting read. Had magic/unexplained happens that were interesting. I like how you followed different peoples' lives and they all wrapped up in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 1/22/2014

    " Love this book, can't wait to read the next one by this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 1/20/2014

    " read a long time ago, but remember that I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 1/19/2014

    " A charming fantasy that had me me conjuring up my own magical treats! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 1/16/2014

    " Definitely a top pick of mine. Sarah Addison Allen is, by far, my favorite author. She writes magically and never ceases to make me smile. If you haven't read any of her books yet, start with this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 12/31/2013

    " Don't miss out on reading this wonderful novel. Truly one of my all time favorites. Sarah Addison Allen is magical. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 12/28/2013

    " A fun read - magical realism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney | 12/25/2013

    " loved it loved it LOVED IT!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Robison | 12/22/2013

    " I really liked this book, not as much as The Peach Keeper, but it was a very good love story. Had the "f" word in it a few more times than I would have liked, but at least it wasn't dominating the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamee Gallup | 11/15/2013

    " this was a fun book. I love books about witches and magic. I wish I had a fun garden like they had. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 11/14/2013

    " Sarah Addison Allen's books have the most interesting mood to them, sweet, fantastical, and melancholy all together. It's an intriguing mix of fantasy and real world problems. I've read everything she's written and am always keeping an eye out for more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 11/7/2013

    " Read this book twice,,i loved it so much "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhiannon | 9/27/2013

    " loved this. love everything I've read so far by sarah. Her worlds are quirky and enchanting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 8/22/2013

    " Absolutely loved this book. I believe it's the fourth of Allen's books I've read, and I've loved them all. So engaging, such good characters, and I love the nonchalant inclusion of everyday magic. I'd recommend this author to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J. Guapster | 6/8/2013

    " Great read. Terrific ending. Fresh and crisp like a homemade salad. Sweeter than a homemade cookie. No other comments until my friend has finished. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jarizza | 4/1/2013

    " Somehow got bored, but I've always kept track of how each plant works out when eaten, so there's still something to be thrilled about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Inna | 3/13/2013

    " Ok, I surrender, I'm 70% done but I just can't finish it...it's boring, predictable and I don't want to waste my time on it.. but if you do, it might be the right book, I guess I just don't like this genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 melissa | 2/24/2013

    " This was a very nice read. Very mystical & magical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean Wentz | 12/21/2012

    " Charming. Loved the garden, food, and magic aspects. and the apple tree! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 8/1/2012

    " A great story about love. A mix between Practical Magic and Charm's for the Easy Life. I really liked how the tree was a character in this story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 2/18/2012

    " I loved this book... this was the first book I read of hers and it is different but once I got into it, I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabel | 2/17/2012

    " It is impossible to read this story without feeling involved by the garden plants, without feeling the apple tree to shake the branches in our direction. Loved every page! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leona | 12/30/2011

    " A great book about love and healing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cristina | 9/18/2011

    " I picked this book up today and finished it already, I couldn't put it down. A fun and easy read. I really enjoyed it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 8/8/2011

    " At first I was enchanted by this book, but the last half sort of deteriorated. I expected more character & plot development. I may read another SAA, hoping with time & experience, she's become a more accomplished writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nelsongo8 Nelson | 8/4/2011

    " This was a fun, easy read. As a first book for this author, it was a great accomplishment, however it lacked the depth that I am used to with many other writers. It had the lingering taste of Practical Magic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 7/11/2011

    " This was such a great book!! It's been awhile since I've read a book this good!! I fell in love with the characters! It felt like home! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 5/23/2011

    " Very nice read...its different, great summer read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellyn | 5/19/2011

    " This book reminded me of the movie Pratical Magic in some ways. Very entertaining and interesting! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 5/18/2011

    " Modern day romance with a touch of magic. Enjoyed the characters and the story. Not a long book but a good weekend read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Audrey | 5/17/2011

    " I read the book for a June book club and am less than impressed. If I had wanted a Debbie Macomber book, I'd have picked one up. The book was too predictable and while the magic element was a fun little touch, it didn't make the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/17/2011

    " A bit predictable, but I love Allen's writing. A good, light summer read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 5/15/2011

    " Really enjoy her and will read more if she writes more. I have read the 3 she has written that I know of. Nothing like a little majic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheena | 5/15/2011

    "

    This was a really good book I could hardly put it down! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 5/14/2011

    " this is the second book I have read from SAA and I have added it to my list on my kindle "Books Worth Reading Again". SAA lets you meander around the garden enjoying the sights, smells, and even surprises. I am loving this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shereekjohnson | 5/14/2011

    " Really enjoyed this. Very different from what I usually like but it proved captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 5/13/2011

    " Very enjoyable and interesting. I liked how this book was suffused with magic without detracting from the real story of love, family and self-realization. I would really give this one 3.5 stars if it was an option. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 5/11/2011

    " This book was just what I needed. It was a magical, mystical love story . An easy read that kept you intrigued especially with the apple tree! Sometimes I like to just escape especially after reading several heavier books in a row! Thanks for a great read! "

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About the Author
Author Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and The Peach Keeper. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

About the Narrator

Susan Ericksen is an actor and voice-over artist. She has been awarded twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award. As an actor and director, she has worked in theaters throughout the country.