I first fell for the Waverly Family in Allen’s debut novel, “Garden Spells.” Small town living, sisters, baking, luuurv, and a magical apple tree that throws apples at innocent bystanders. What’s not to love? I knew that the sequel would be a good read for the winter time, something light fluffy, and a little warm for the cold days, and it delivered.
The Waverly sisters have both made their way home and are living happy lives. The book picks up about 10 years after the first. The sisters are both happily married, living seemingly idyllic lives, but each is preoccupied: the time leading up to the “first frost” of the year leaves them feeling uneasy and wanting. Claire now has a blossoming candy making business and Sydney is the owner of the hair salon. Bay is a teenager, and her Waverly skill of knowing where everything fits is giving her trouble as she tries to navigate love in high school. And also, a mysterious stranger has come to town with suspect intentions.
Allen’s books are a delight, albeit predictable. But when that’s what you are looking for it is like putting on a comfy pair of slippers. If you haven’t read the first book, she does a good job of explaining enough key points from the first book so that you don’t miss much. The mysterious stranger plotline fizzled a little in execution but overall if you like magical realism and are looking for a quick read then you can’t go wrong with this one.