I rarely browse the shelve anymore, so it was a delight this weekend to go the library and have the opportunity to just come across good looking books. These days I pretty much only read things I have read about or had recommended to me and I just put them on hold. I certainly read a lot of good things, but I do miss just finding books that I like unexpectedly. This was on the new shelves at the library (though I see it came out last summer and already the paperback is coming out later this spring) and it attracted me with its beautiful cover.
What a charming charming book!! The main character, Claire, comes from an old mysterious Southern family. The family home has a walled garden with an apple tree in it that all the locals know about. The apple tree bears fruit all spring and summer and the apples, if eaten, give the eater a vision of the biggest event of his or her life. They are careful not to eat the apples. All the herbs and flowers that grow around the apple tree have special properties as well. Claire has cultivated this into a successful catering business. For example, a ladies group that has her cater their luncheons has her incorporate the ingredients which will make you keep a secret. Want to see in the dark? Drink some of the honeysuckle wine. Claire’s elderly cousin, Evanelle, had a gift (all the Waverly women have a gift of some sort) that I found a highlight of the story. She will be overcome with a need to give a person something in particular. And then, sooner or later, you will have need of that particular item in a way that will affect your life.
The overall story concerns Claire’s somewhat estranged sister returning home to escape an abusive partner. Both women gradually restore their relationship and also find love with others.
This was a lovely sweet story, I loved the magical elements and the way the stories wove together. Very satisfying!!