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!
Stephanie Once Upon a Chapter
I am going to have to go back and check out Garden Spells. It sounds like a perfect read for a lazy afternoon. Especially if you liked it this much! It sounds great. Thanks for sharing!
me too … hope we get another visit with the Waverleys’ … love SAA, she’s my go-to author when I want the warm fuzzies 🙂 Love your review!!
I adore her too, off to read your thoughts on it
Nice post. You convinced me, I think I’ll try this series.
Exciting! I hope you love them as much as I did
Yay! I’m glad the follow up was enjoyable too. I still need to read the first!!
Oh you are in for a treat then Diana
I added the first one to GoodReads, thanks!
Sweet..I hope you love it as much as I did
This is the second review I’ve read that extolled the virtues of First Frost and this series. I have Garden Spells on my bookshelf but haven’t read it yet. I’m thinking I better get on the ball.
Go, go grab Garden Spells off your shelf and enjoy!
I read Garden Spells back when it first came out and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the book or the author and it bugged the heck out of me because it was so good. I lost print copy when I moved so thank you for this review Kim, now I can go back get Garden Spells and read the other books too 😉
I have done that! I am glad I could reunite you..happy reading
Sharon - Obsession with Books
I am loving the cover, I haven’t heard of this author/title before now but it sounds great.
Sharon – Obsession with Books
Oh I hope you grab Garden Spells Sharon…I love magical realism
I haven’t read any of Sarah’s books but I’ve heard so many good things about them and have been meaning to give her a shot! I know Garden Spells comes highly recommended so I think that’s where I will start! I am glad you thought this was a great follow up to the book! 🙂
Lovely review, Kimba! 😀
Garden Spells is my favorite so I hope you try it!
Magic + Waverly Family makes me think of Wizards of Waverly Place. And yes, I loved that show. Alex was a snarky rebel. lol. Anyway, this sounds good.
LOL..my girls use to love that show.
Sounds like a really special book…thanks for the post!
So glad to see that you liked this one! I loved Garden Spells so I’m def. going to have to eventually read this. Thanks for the review!
Glad you loved Garden Spell and hope you enjoy visiting them again Samantha
Tyler H Jolley
What a great review, Kim! It sounds like the world building was as spot on as the character development!
Magical realism is cool and Allen can spin a tale. Thanks Tyler!
Tabitha (Not Yet Read)
Ooo I saw this one recently in a Shelf Awareness newsletter and realized I have several of her books that I friend gave me ages ago. I’ve always wanted to read them. I like the sound of “magic realism”.
Ooo I hope you have Garden Spell in that pile ..it is my favorite. Enjoy them!
I read a review of this book over a Talk Supe and I like the sound of it, so I added it to my wish list. Looks like it was a good decision, but I didn’t noticed then that this was book #2. Lucky they have book 1 too.
Thank Kimba 🙂
I loved Garden Spell the first and it my absolute favorite by her
Melissa (Books and Things)
I enjoyed my time here as well. I do hope she has another book with the family. It did seem like she left the door unlocked at least for another book with the family. I would also like to know more about that tree! LOL
I agree she did leave it open and I so hope we get more!
I love Sarah, but I am still waiting for one of her books to totally capture me like Garden Spells or Sugar Queen. I enjoyed this one, but the whole story line with the stranger was just icky. I didn’t like it, and I felt like it ended with a lot of loose ends. I certainly wanted more of Bay’s story. I hope there are going to be several more in this series.
I am hoping the openness means we will revisit again. Agreed that the stranger was a dark thread.
I enjoyed Garden Spells when I read it but I think that was 2008 and I’ve forgotten pretty much everything about it. But I do have more of her books and I’m looking forward to reading them!
It is the type of story you slip back into and time has passed for them as well. I would just read a few reviews and the synopsis to refresh your memory.
Haven’t read Harden Spells, and now you make me feel so bad about it! Here are two more titles added to my pile, courtesy of … you! Again!! Lol. Thanks for the review, Kimba, it is as good and thrilling as ever.
If you haven’t tried magical realism you are in for a treat 🙂
Both books sound too good to pass up. I’m on the hunt 🙂
Anna from Shout with Emaginette
Happy Hunting Anna!
Great review Kim, Garden Spells was one of my favorite of her novels and I can’t wait to dig into my own copy.
So glad to hear you loved Garden Spells too Debbie 🙂
I’m so intrigued by this one! I think I probably should read Garden Spell first though. It’s on my TBR for this year and I will get to it! I’m glad to hear that First Frost lives up to Garden Spell!
Sweet, I look forward to your thoughts Katherine
I didn’t read the first one, though I did read another book by her, so yes, I will definitely want to read this one. Great review, by the way!
I loved Garden Spell and if your library has it..it is worth the trip
It sounds like a paranormal cozy women’s fic which would be an interesting blend. I look forward to trying this series. Nicely organized review, Kimba!
Thanks Sophia..magical realism is such a cool genre, and I recommend Garden Spells first.
I’ve seen a bunch of these reviews around and they’re all pretty positive. Might have to check this out!
I recommend Garden Spells first Mary, although they work alone..
I hadn’t heard of this book nor the author. I am adding this to my TBR! It sounds extremely interesting and I have to admit I love the cover, even if it is simple.
Isn’t the cover lovely..enjoy!
I am looking forward to reading this one, but first I must read Garden Spells. Thanks for sharing the Waverleys and making me want to know them, too.
I hope you love Garden Spell as much as I did Laurel
Garden Spells was the first (and only) book I have read by this author but I remember loving it. I am so excited this is a sequel to that series.
I guess I have another book to add to the pile. 😉
I’ve heard so much about this author! Her writing and books do sound really magical. I might need to check out a book by this author soonish!
Lovely review, Kim!
Oh I hope you do, perhaps your library has Garden Spell
I’m in the middle of reading this book now thanks to a very late acceptance from NetGalley. I already love it. Like you, Garden Spells is my favorite. Lost Lake is a close runner-up.
Enjoy Jessica, it was fun going back and visiting them
Garden Spells has been on my TBR for a while. This one sounds great too. I feel like I should read Garden Spells first though. If I like that one, I will check this one out too. 🙂
I would simply because you will appreciate this more
I hadn’t even read the first book (but I will now!) and I still loved it. The characters are fab, the magic is fun and it’s just so heart warming. I totally agree with all 5 of your reasons, it’s a great one to cozy down with.
So glad you loved it, and yes Garden Spell is my favorite book
I need this book
This one sounds a like a nice ans sweet book, plus the cover is so pretty too! I didn’t know about it but I’m curious after 3 good reviews today. Thank you!
I really enjoy this author and have enjoyed everything she has published
Totally agree and indeed well put about the tree and house subtly reveal what they think/feel. Love those stuck doors!
Yes, I loved that the house was like a character
The book and the author are new to me but that cover is so gorgeous and I love a story that you can easily fall into. Plus the fact you can connect to each character sounds amazing, it’s so great when that happens in books. Very nice review!
I love the cover and hope you explore this author Alise