by Sarah Addison Allen
Series: Waverley Family #2
Genres: Magical Realism
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
I was ecstatic when I discovered that First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen was to be the second book about the Waverley Family. I discovered Garden Spells quite by accident back in 2011 pre-blog and fell in love with both the book and the author. It has remained among my favorite books and opened the door to magical realism. First Frost was everything I could have hoped for and more.
Five reasons to snuggle up with First Frost
- If you are a fan of Allen and like me, you hold Garden Spells as your favorite of her books; you are in for a delightful treat. Once again, we are back in Bascom, North Carolina and spending time with Sydney, Claire and Bay. Beautifully written with all the magic of Garden Spells, First Frost displayed all the reasons I fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen. I loved this glimpse into their lives and hope Allen revisits them again.
- Magical realism lives and breathes within the Waverley family home. Pendland Street, the apple tree and old Queen Anne home are magic and I loved the subtle way the tree and house voice their opinion.
- Being a part of Claire and Sydney’s life again was exciting. Sydney still has her gift with hair and Claire with baking. A lot has happened since we last visited these sisters, their spouses and friends. Allen made it feel like coming home after a long spell away. A cup of good tea, a little bread and I felt warm and fuzzy. I quickly became caught up in both of their struggles.
- Bay is a teen now and very much a misfit with her gift of knowing where things and people belong. I loved how the author weaved in Bay’s story with threads from her mother’s past. I adore Bay and her calm acceptance of who she is. Unlike her mother, she embraces her heritage, and is comfortable in her own skin, even if being a teenager especially a Waverley sucks. The characters emotions, actions and interactions have a genuine feel to them. I honestly can say I identify and connected to each of them.
- There is a stranger in town, and things are off for each of the Waverley women. The time between the last harvest and awaiting the next cycle in the apple’s tree brings unease and unrest into the Waverley’s life. Sydney wants to conceive, and Claire’s bout of fame has not been all that. Bay struggles with her unrequited feelings for a young man and her desire to help him find where he belongs. All of the threads are beautifully blended to create a story that held me captive. I love how balanced First Frost unfolded with each perspectives. The author has this uncanny ability to make me relax and savory events.
My time with First Frost was magical, and I sincerely home Allen takes me back to Pendland Street again!