Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: "First Frost" by Sarah Addison Allen

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.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Did I like this book?

After being disappointed by Allen's last book, "Lost Lake", I wasn't too sure what to expect from "First Frost".  I'm happy to say I enjoyed this book from beginning to end!  There's something about Allen's books that just draws me in, making me care about the characters and believe in their magic, and I absolutely love that!

It's been quite a while since I'd read "Garden Spells", so the characters and setting of "First Frost" were not exactly fresh in my memory.  I found that it didn't really matter, and that Allen's writing was subtle enough that I was gently reminded of certain plot points of the first book throughout this second book.  Of course, things have changed over the last ten years, and while I did enjoy Claire and Sydney's stories, I especially enjoyed reading about Bay.  She is such a unique girl, and I loved the direction her story went!  If I was to change anything about this book, it would be to add more about Bay!

Will you like this book?

Fans of Sarah Addison Allen will definitely like this book, and if you're not already a fan, where have you been?  Although you probably don't have to read "Garden Spells" beforehand, I definitely recommend that you do, otherwise some things might not make sense (i.e. an apple-throwing tree, a house that locks certain people out, etc.)

Will I read more by this author?

Absolutely!  I've read all of Allen's books, and I really enjoy her writing style.  I just wish my local library would jump on the bandwagon and purchase some of her books for others to enjoy (hint hint!)

My rating:

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