I've read every book by this author. Both of them. :)
And they were amazing.
A new favorite author.
I added her fan page and her as a friend on Facebook. Let the stalking begin. JUST KIDDING.
This book was just as magical as The Sugar Queen. Claire is a 34 year old caterer, who has lived an old life. Her sister Sydney, on the other hand, decided to follow in their mother's footsteps and lead the wild life, living temporarily where ever she pleased.
But Sydney has Bay, her young daughter, and an abusive boyfriend. She flees back to where she was escaping all her life (like her mom): Bascom, NC.
Sydney and Claire then find a way to leave their baggage behind, deal with their mother, and all the strangeness that define them, such as the Apple tree in the backyard that throws apples at you.
It is such an amazing story, much like The Sugar Queen was: very quirky, taking town lore to the nth degree, like 'The Hopkins' are born old. That's why they have to marry older women.' And literally, the Hopkins men are much older than they are in the way they work, act and think.
Then there's the Clark women, who are known for their, um, sexual prowess and always married well.
And the Waverly's, Sydney & Claire, the strange ones with the magical garden...
My favorite character is Evanelle, who is an elderly cousin of Claire & Sydney's who has to give things to people. She doesn't know why, but the town has accepted this quirkiness because it always becomes useful. Evanelle will give someone something: a lighter, a ball of yarn, a mango splitter, etc. that eventually, will make sense to the giftee.
Then *the* apple tree, who has a life of its own. It throws apples at 'you'. If you eat one, though, the most amazing thing that will happen in your life will be revealed...and this doesn't always mean it's a good thing.
But it can throw apples far. It can roll apples to you. And it's branches can reach out to you.
A fascinating book that just brings a spirit to me, much like Jane Eyre did. Once I read it, I was spellbound and so was my world.
I look forward to Allen's new book which does not come out until March of next year!!! I need to find a widget to countdown this debut.
Thank you, Sarah Addison Allen, for these amazing stories.