08-24-2007 10:58 AM
Sarah Addison Allen and Garden Spells
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. 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. 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.
About Sarah Addison Allen: Allen was born and raised in North Carolina, and the character of her home terrain is recognizable even in the magical precincts of Bascom, the fictional community in which her novel unfolds. "The name of the town, and Lunsford’s reservoir, the local swimming hole, mentioned in Garden Spells," Allen explains, "are subtle nods to Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the man who founded the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, purportedly the longest running folk festival in the nation."
The author has a B.A. in literature, a major she pursued, she says, "because I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate." She credits her father - a reporter and award-winning columnist for a local newspaper - for her 'stubborn writing genes." And like Claire Waverley in Garden Spells, Allen herself has a sister named Sydney.
She resides in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is currently at work on her next novel, The Sugar Queen, which will be published by Bantam in Summer 2008.
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03-14-2008 09:55 PM
Major thanks and credit to Ms. Jamie S. Warren Youll--great job!
05-13-2008 12:34 PM