Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review: First Frost

First Frost (Waverley Family #2)Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Waverly Sisters # 2

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.

Each Waverley had something different about her, but Claire was the most unusual in a family of unusuals.

She finally understood that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone love you. You can’t stop them from making the wrong decision. There was no magic for that.

First frost was always an unpredictable time, but this year it felt more…desperate than others. Something was about to happen.

Ever since discovering Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen, I have done whatever necessary to acquire as many books based in the magical realism genre as possible. Allen’s writing is magical and mystical and so are her stories and characters. I was unaware, until a few days ago, that this book was a sequel to her first book in this series, Garden Spells. The series follows the Waverley sisters, who are anything but normal. Along with the peculiar apple tree that sits in their backyard, that doesn’t start blooming until the first frost, late October, and throws, yes, throws, not drops, apples at the family members upon their numerous visits. Allen has knocked another one out of the park. Her stories are phenomenal and a sure treat for readers or varying ages.

We encounter three Waverley women in this book: Bay, Sydney’s daughter, Sydney, and Claire. Each of them are hoping for a miraculous change in their lives, and they all hope to see their dreams fulfilled by first frost. Bay desperately wants the attention of a boy at school, Claire wants to stop feeling so overwhelmed with her candy business, and Sydney wants another pregnancy. When a stranger arrives in town, strange things start happening to the Waverley household. It was so easy to follow along with each of these fascinating women. They captivated me from the first page and the story felt like magic as it drifted by in a hurry. If you love to feel completely spellbound by a book, don’t miss out on this one!

***A free copy of this book was provided by the publishers at St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review***

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