Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Book #Review: First Frost (Waverley Sisters 2) by Sarah Addison Allen

Book Title:  First Frost ( Waverley Sisters 2)
Author:  Sarah Addison Allen |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher:   St. Martin's Press
Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism
Series/Standalone:  Book 2
Format: Hardcover
Cost: $25.99
Pages: 300
How I got it: Purchased 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: Jan 20th, 2015
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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 pleasu
re 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
We go back into the Waverly sisters lives to see what their happy ever after looks like 10 years post Garden Spells.  This story picks up years after Garden Spells and shows how their lives progressed since the last book. I really enjoyed seeing the relationships and how the women found their happiness not in just in finding their partners but in finding their homes and their places in their life. Sydney came home to the town to hide and found that she could bloom her and make a success of being there.  Claire's business has taken off with success especially in her candy business, and yet the success is beginning to make her doubt herself. Bay knows where she belongs but like most people who a confidant she unwittingly opens herself up to scrutiny when she tries to share that certainty with someone who is lost.

This time the main focus is Sydney's daughter Bay who is in high school and has figured out what her Waverly magic is, she's able to tell where something or someone belongs. She's figured out where she belongs as well and this is driving her mother crazy. Sydney hasn't really embraced her magic, she's still hesitant to believe that her daughter has it she wants her to be normal and have normal high school memories and associations and when they begin to happen she is now hesitant because this means her daughter won't be hers any longer.

As the women all struggle with finding that sense of home once again, they also deal with Clair'es fear that her uncertainty has made her daughter too much like her father. Bay wonders if she can make her mother understand why she needs what she needs. Sydney is trying to save her daughter from her own mistakes and embrace the changes coming into her life.

There is a moment within the book here their elder cousin points out that the girls are trying so hard because they are attempting to make up for what their mother lacked, and it truly hit home how even though leaving them with their Grandmother was the smartest and safest thing she could have done, Lorelei's flight from her destiny damaged her children in so many ways.  The secrets we keep as adults to 'protect' our children only hurt them when they are old enough to understand.  By leaving them with her mother, the girls never got to know her and never even knew the simplest things that a child should about heir parent.  Without good examples, the girls are left floundering as they try to parent their own children and find their sense of home and family.

It's a wonderful read and I found myself returning to it when I should have done chores just so I could know how it all ended.  As the mystery of certain characters unfolded we learned that the magic the Waverly's have goes deeper than they thought and that history doesn't have to repeat itself.  It was great to see how the relationships between the sisters healed and how without realizing it their example influenced their children.  I loved seeing Mariah, Claire's daughter and how she simply accepted the strangeness that made her home the way it was. I loved that the house and the apple tree had personalities and had to be bribed to behave or to let people it was mad at into the space.  I loved the way the men in their lives loved them and gave them what they needed while they themselves received all the love the women could give.

It's a great story about love, family and finding and embracing your sense of self. I highly recommend.
  • Practical Magic Alice Hoffman
  • Garden Spells Sarah Addison Allen

Happy Reading my loves, 

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