Dear Sarah Addison Allen,
I realize this is not the way to write a book review. I usually give a synopsis and then an opinion but in this case, I think that I will bend the format and write you a letter.
I was so happy when I heard that you had a new book out and that it was a sequel to your 2008 best seller, Garden Spells. I happily bought your new book and saved it for my vacation.
I started by re-reading Garden Spells. I knew that I had to renew my acquaintance with the characters and where they were left in time. I enjoyed the book again (may have been the third time…) and was ready to sit down with First Frost to see how things had changed.
First Frost opens with the characters ten years in the future from the end of Garden Spells. There is a new character Mariah, , Claire and Tyler’s nine year old daughter.
I like that your books have an element of fantasy but the fantasy element is just part of who the person is – it does not necessarily set them apart from everyone. In First Frost, Claire struggles whether or not she is really a Waverly. We learned in Garden Spells that each of the Waverly women have a gift – a special knowledge or talent. Claire wonders if she has a gift or is it just that she learned how to mix ingredients to bring desired effects to people? Does her daughter have a gift? If Mariah doesn’t have a gift, isn’t that more evidence that Claire is not a true Waverly?
It is great to see in First Frost that the sisters have drawn even closer over the years and that their husbands, while they seem to ignore the seemingly odd things that happen at the original family home (where Claire, Tyler, and Mariah live) do know that there are “quirks” but they just carry on as if there is nothing odd. (but they both know to avoid getting to close to the apple tree for fear of being hit by an apple)
I loved the new characters that came into the lives of the Waverly sisters during the story. I wish I had Bay with me to put everything in its proper place. I wish I had Sydney’s wisdom when she talked to Josh. Even the Great Banditi, while trying to disrupt their lives ended up strengthening the family bonds.
Thanks so much for your books. I enjoy reading them.
(Is this where it is obvious that I am a Fan?) If you would like to find out more about Sarah Addison Allen, you can check out her web site.
Thanks for reading!