Length: 304 pages, or 8 hours and 30 minutes on Audible
Genre: Magical Realism
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Goodreads | Shelfari | Audible
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...
My Thoughts In A Sentence:
A fun sequel to an enjoyably promising series
Well that was fun!
I liked the first book so much, I immediately went ahead and read the second one (thank you, Shelfari’s Play Book Tag group, for making me realize there was a sequel!). I couldn’t help myself; I wanted to hang out some more with Claire and Sydney and Bay.
What was rather nice was the fact that we get to see a little more of Bay as she starts venturing a little into her own love life. I like her kind of love story, where one side takes a little while to figure out where and with whom they belong. It’s sweet, eventful, not too melodramatic or overly passionate, exactly what I prefer in a romance (hence why I liked the first book so much). Once again, everyone was open about their feelings and what they wanted, which simplified the story and prevented it from going over the top and making me groan. Overall, I couldn’t stop reading it, I was having so much fun!
So if I liked it so much, why only 3.5 stars? Well, personally, I liked each individual storyline (Claire and Russell, Sydney and Violet, Bay and Josh), but I feel like there were too many stories for one short book. Maybe if the focus was more on only one or two stories, it would have worked a little better. In the previous novel, the multiple storylines worked just fine, but mainly because they were not too complicated. This time around, the tales were just a little too intricate to be mixed together. It probably should have been one novel and one novella instead. Just sayin’.
I would still recommend this read though. It’s fun, it’s light, it’s magical. It’s exactly what you need when you’re stuck in a rut, or feeling a little stressed. I’m definitely happier for it. Happy reading!