Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors and I love to talk books so I wanted to share with you my review of her incredible new novel, First Frost.
This book was actually a birthday present to me in January but with all the huge things going on in my life this year, (moving to another state being only one of those things) I'm very tardy in posting my review.
First Frost is a sequel to Allen's debut novel, Garden Spells, which is beloved by many readers.
You might want to start with this book first so that you'll have all of the great history of the Waverley's before you read First Frost. I actually listened to the audio version of Garden Spells as a refresher and the voice actress was awesome! It was so fun to listen to the book while rocking my baby. :)
I devoured First Frost and even though I wanted to slow down and savor each word, I couldn't help myself. I always binge on Sarah Addison Allen's words and then I'm left wanting more! Good thing I can go back and reread them!
Here is the blurb from Amazon and then I'll comment with my review:
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 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
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
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.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, 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 loved stepping back into the world of the Waverley sisters with their delicious magic, kind hearts, and beautiful southern setting. I really want to visit North Carolina someday! The character of Bay was probably my favorite in this book. It was so refreshing to see a teenager from this perspective. Bay is thoughtful and even though she is a teenager where so much uncertainty abounds, Bay knows where she belongs. She knows where everyone belongs and that makes this story so much more interesting.
But as with every novel Sarah writes, it's hard to choose favorite characters because each one comes to life and steps into the room with you like a good friend. Claire and Sydney have plenty of interactions with interesting characters. I especially loved the bit of mystery surrounding a stranger and Sydney.
Sarah's books are all bestsellers because they are so much more than just a story. Each character teaches us in their own way about life, its lessons and that even though things don't usually turn out how we think they should, it all works out in the end. First Frost is fantastic in that respect and I think you'll love learning how each character gets through their personal trials in unexpected ways.
I appreciated that this is a book I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone because it's a clean novel, without the content that I don't want my daughter's reading, let alone myself! :) It's such a great feeling to read a book and feel uplifted and wanting more when I turn the last page. I can't wait for Sarah's next book. If you haven't read Sarah Addison Allen, now is the time to start!