Title: First Frost
Series: Waverley Family #2
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 20th 2015
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, E-book
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | BN |The Book Depository
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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.
“Some of Bay’s fondest memories were of lying under the apple tree in the summer while Claire gardened and the apple tree tossed apples at her like a dog trying to coax its owner into playing catch.”
Garden Spells, the first in this “series” is one of my all time favorite reads. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that Sarah Addison Allen was finally writing a follow up. I’ve enjoyed her other books but none resonated with me as much as Garden Spells did.
First Frost picks up about 10 years after Garden Spells and a huge part of the story follows Sydney’s daughter Bay. There are multiple story lines here though and Claire’s proves the most interesting to me although at times the path her story took seemed a bit too contrived for my taste. I did love the fact that it presented her with the very real question of who she was and what exactly it is that makes her who she is. Isn’t this a question that we all ask ourselves at one point or another?
I also loved getting little glimpses into the “Waverly” men. The men that married into this family and the unique and endearing qualities that they held which allowed them to thrive within that family and support their wives throughout. They were priceless additions to the story.
And you all know that I love the magic and this is magical realism done just right. It’s so subtle and behind the scenes yet pervasive enough to have an impact. It never once steps over the line and comes on too strong and that subtlety allows for it to be completely believable without the need for suspension of disbelief.
Most of all reading this story just felt like coming home. When I held this book in my hands and jumped in no matter where I was, I felt as if I were curled on the sofa in my warmest blanket with a fresh cup of tea and a plate of chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven.
First Frost did not disappoint. There was the trademark lush prose and dreamy environs…the strong women and the subtle magic woven throughout. Go ahead and pick it up…I doubt you’ll be disappointed.