It’s #PreFridayReads when a Tall Poppy author recommends a book she loved. So if you’re looking for a great recommendation for your #FridayReads or another book to meet your 2017 Poppy Reading Challenge, read on.

We’ll help you turn the page …

Amy E. Reichert recommends GARDEN SPELLS, by Sarah Addison Allen

I’m a late comer to Sarah Addison Allen. Her novels have been on my “should read” list for ages. Books release at such a furious pace, it’s sometimes overwhelming to keep up with the authors I “should” have read. The tonnage of to-be-read books on my sagging shelves and gigabytes of data housing my e-book list are evidence of that.

In an effort to make a dent in my TBR pile, I recently went on a book reading binge, reading eight books in a month—it was glorious. My favorite of these was Allen’s delightful GARDEN SPELLS. GARDEN SPELLS wasn’t even in my pile—instead I had FIRST FROST, a novel I’ve long wanted to read. When I picked it up at last, I realized it was a second book in a series. Gasp! I cannot start a series in the middle, nor can I leave them unfinished, so I downloaded GARDEN SPELLS immediately (now you know who is paying the astronomical full prices for some e-books).

It was love at first chapter. GARDEN SPELLS is one of those lovely small town tales about family, secrets, with a bit of romance and magic. The Waverley sisters were hilarious and real, and the novel is full of wonderful food, local lore, and one sassy apple tree. 

Here’s the official description swiped from Goodreads:
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. 

Doesn’t it sound amazing? The best part. When you fall in love with these women like I did (and you will), you can dive into FIRST FROST to spend more time with them.

Learn more about Sarah Addison Allen and all her novels at:

Amy E. Reichert, author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE, LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE, and the forthcoming THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER (May 16, 2017) loves to write stories that end well with characters you’d invite to dinner. A wife, mom, amateur chef, Fix-It Mistress, and cider enthusiast, she earned her MA in English Literature and serves on her local library’s board of directors.