I received this book for free from Netgalley for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Publication Date: Jan. 20, 2015
Setting: North America > USA > North Carolina
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen is a deliciously, magical tale about the power of family and the ties that bind them. The magical Waverley sisters must face their family’s deepest secrets when a mysterious stranger comes to town. A mesmerizing and mouth-watering addition to your magical fall reading list.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“”From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves…
It’s October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree… and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.
Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.
Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.
Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?
When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.
Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen’s enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.”
I first heard of NC author Sarah Addison Allen from NC blogger friend Andrea from Good Girl Gone Redneck who said Allen is one of her favorite authors. When I saw Allen’s newest book, First Frost, on Netgalley I had to grab it.
First Frost was an enchanting read and my first book in magical realism. Magical gifts run through the Waverley women, sisters Claire and Sydney and Sydney’s daughter Bay. Each one has a unique gift that is revealed to them during their lives.
Claire has the ability to use the flowers and herbs in her garden to make magical candies and food that evoke particular emotions. From the candies that fuel feelings of love and happiness in her family and customers to the food that can evoke jealousy and resentment in the town gossips, Claire’s concoctions are infused with magic. How I wouldn’t love to have her power in making my family feel love and happiness with each bite of my food!
I also loved Bay’s gift to know just where everything belonged. With the Organized Home Challenge I have been trying to do this year, I totally could use Bay’s gift too. Bay knows she belongs with school hearthrob, Josh, but he doesn’t give her the time of day because she’s one of those “weird” Waverleys. I loved seeing how their relationship would develop, I’m always a sucker for the eccentric girl trying to get the coolest guy in school.
Claire, oh Claire’s gift to evoke certain emotions through her food and candies was mesmerizing and mouth-watering. Candies that evoke love, friendship and memories. As a foodie who feels like food and the kitchen is the heart of our home, I really loved reading about Claire’s gift, the struggles she faced with her candy business which was successful but not her true passion and the dishes she crafted.
More mystery comes to town when a stranger threatens the thread of the Waverley family. The sisters and Bay must come to terms with the truth and what makes them a unique family.
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Books Like This You Might Enjoy:
UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale by Chandra Hahn* – 5*, a YA story about a girl who goes from zero to hero and fight off her family’s fairy tale curse. A surprisingly enjoyable read, FREE on Kindle and Audible
Wicked by Gregory Maguire – 4*, a fairy tale retelling of The Oz characters we know and love but that provides a thought provoking commentary on whether evil is born or created.
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance Review – 5*, a turn of the century ghost story when Venice was a dark and scary place.
House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende* – 3*, a family saga with a tone of magical realism set in Chile.
What books in magical realism have you enjoyed? What books are on your fall reading list?