Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (Book Review)

19692392_10207769354390875_466491155_n

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

The women of the Waverley family — whether they like it or not — are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother’s unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town’s constraints. Using her grandmother’s mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business — and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life — upon the family’s peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories.

Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire’s routine existence upside down. With Sydney’s homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire’s own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney’s child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.

24e60963d0eb778b66a1257b55a16e34

MY BOOK REVIEW:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was the first novel that I’ve read by her and it was such a wonderful and magical story. Kind of reminds me of that old movie entitled “Practical Magic” starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. Well it’s not the same story but the whole concept of old magical spells, and a small town community was somewhat a bit similar. Anyway, I’m usually not keen on reading novels in which its genre is all about magical realism. But I must say, the book was definitely amazing.

Furthermore, it’s the kind of tale that emphasizes the importance of having one’s family to support you through thick and thin. And that’s what the characters of Claire and Sydney have shown its readers – the value of being supportive and loving to one another, and even though that their childhood days was a bit tough, and as sisters, there was some kind of strain into their relationship. But time has shown them the importance of sisterhood, and giving love a chance to be a part of their lives.

Well speaking of romance, which was more like a secondary theme into story, was such a giddy and additional treat in the novel especially when it gets to the part about Claire and Tyler’s not so unusual love story.

Moreover, the author has written it in a style that’s entirely simple and catchy for its readers.

Then as I’ve already written, it’s a story that deals with something in the world of fantasy and magical realism; like the moving apple tree, and what would happen to that person when he/she would try to take a bite of the apple from that particular tree. Plus including its strange community!
Another thing that I’ve also observed as a reader was that the story seems so real that things like that could happen. However, after reading the whole the book, it just got me thinking, “Hey, it’s just a story but how nice it would be if it can happen in real life!”

And I tell you guys, this novel will truly make you fall in love of its author Sarah Addison Allen, and would entice you to read the rest of her books!

 

Well that’s it for now. Till me next book review.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

 

 

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (Book Review)

fdfdfs

The title character of The Little Prince is a pure and innocent traveler from outer space whom the narrator encounters in the Sahara desert. Before the little prince lands on Earth, Saint-Exupéry contrasts the prince’s childlike character with different adult characters by having the prince hop from one neighboring planet to another. On each planet, the prince meets a different type of adult and reveals that character’s frivolities and weaknesses. Once on Earth, however, the little prince becomes a student as well as a teacher. From his friend the fox, the little prince learns what love entails, and in turn he passes on those lessons to the narrator.

The little prince has few of the glaring flaws evident in the other characters, and he is immediately shown to be a character of high caliber by his ability to recognize the narrator’s Drawing Number One as a picture of a boa constrictor that has eaten a snake. Nevertheless, the prince’s fear as he prepares to be sent back to his planet by snakebite shows that he is susceptible to the same emotions as the rest of us. Most notably, the prince is bound by his love for the rose he has left on his home planet. His constant questioning also indicates that one’s search for answers can be more important than the answers themselves.

-A Summary from SparkNotes.com

c1f6ccfe732dba4441440e722a56f26a

MY BOOK REVIEW:

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

A beautiful thought that was shared by the fox to the little prince.

I don’t know why that it took me so long to read such a great story. For who would have thought that such a small book could give such very profound wisdom’s to its readers. And I was so caught up into it that I’ve finished reading this in just one sitting.

The thing is that, I’m already a bit familiar of the story of “The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry”. Back then in high school, this book was actually assigned to us in our class for reading and further discussion. But at that time, I wasn’t always that present in our classes, which also made me missed it when my English teacher was already discussing this. And so by the time that I got back, all I did was just read the summary so that I could catch up to all that I’ve missed. Plus, you know what they say; one can never appreciate something if one is in such a hurry.

7626c0408a7fc63ecf9aca51335a9138

So I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m really going to read it again; not the summary, but the whole story itself. For as an avid reader, this is definitely a must-read. But as the years went by, I still haven’t got the chance to. Then ten years later, while I was making a list of books to read for this year. I’ve decided to include this one. It is because of the upcoming animated film adaptation. Moreover, I also wanted to own an actual copy. And it was just recently, while I was waiting, and wondering around a bookstore that I’ve finally decided to really buy it, for I was also thinking that it was finally the perfect time to read it.

Then last weekend, I went out to visit my parents. So I bought this book with me. And without me knowing it, I was totally drowned into the whole story of an old pilot meeting the little prince in the middle of nowhere in the Sahara desert.

As I’ve written earlier, it is indeed a small book, and such a short story. But it’s much more meaningful, and so full of wisdom. At first glance, you might think that this is a children’s book, but I don’t think so. For even at the beginning of the story, you can really comprehend the first lesson that the narrator really wants its readers to understand about the grown-ups.

83e94fe776ff4888f16109fced758f0e

Moreover, I know that there have been tons of reviews that have been written about The Little Prince. But, I still want to share my very own views and thoughts about the book; and there are about five of them; personal insights that I’ve learned while and after reading this.

And here are the following:

The first thing that I’ve learned while reading the book is that grown-ups tends to get so busy about the hustle and bustles of living in order to survive, that they also tend to forget the simple pleasures of “Living a Meaningful and Wonderful Life”. I’m not talking about the idea of getting rich, or being so successful in one’s career or business. I’m talking about stopping for one moment, and to take it all in. You know the idea about doing the little things that you love other than your work; spending more quality time to your family, your friends, and of course to yourself; then picking some cheat days just so that you could also enjoy the pleasures of eating; traveling into such unknown places, and a whole lot more.

The second insight is that the grown-ups sometimes do not fully comprehend the deeper meaning of things, and can be a bit narrow-minded. For there was actually a thought that was mentioned in the book that when you’ll mentioned a house to a person. All that he would ask is the price of the house, or the location itself, and will just say that it’s a fine house. But how can he know that when he didn’t even ask about how it really looks like, the surroundings, the atmosphere that really goes into it. For such one is caught up into the world of figures, and materialism.

Another part in the story that shows such narrow-mindedness was also about a Turkish Astronomer who has presented his own discovery in the International Astronomical Congress by wearing a European costume instead of his very own traditional Turkish costume. In order for it be more acceptable to those people in the congress. Well that’s absurd!

35faecc4333a9dd0e7a636c015c389e8

The third one would be about the children. For they are so pure, and innocent; so full of life that they tend to wonder about a lot of things. And as time passes by, it’s either that such simple mindedness could be taken away from them because they’ve already been swallowed into the world of the grown-ups, or they still remain true to their selves for they know of what really matters. And they are still as open-minded even if they’re already exposed to the realities of the world.

The fourth is about traveling. For one should not just travel just so that you could set foot into a place, and pose for a picture; to travel is also a learning experience, and to see a new place for what it is. I’m talking about exploring the food that you usually don’t get to eat from where you live; and observing the people who lives there, especially about their culture, and their way of living. Moreover, a traveler should also know how to take it all in the things that are happening in front of him. For a camera can never fully capture the beauty and wonder to all the things that are happening right before his very eyes. So whenever we are already into that actual experience, we should at least stop for one moment to observe all the things that are happening around us. For that is a wonderful learning experience for a wanderer.

fdee72102082a860af9c03d40d0366d5

And the last one is all about taking importance of what really matters.

So what is truly important to us?

Love?

Family?

Successful Career?

Health?

Happiness?

Friendship?

Wealth?

Of course, there are so many things that we really want out of life. But the most important thing that we should ask ourselves is that

“Are we at peace about everything?”

Cause if it is, then that’s when all the things that we want in our life will truly fall into place. Moreover, life is so full of challenges, and one must take the risk to be brave; something that we really need from time to time.

So as I end this blog of mine, and send it into the void, I would also like to point out that to search for what we really want is important. But we should also try to not be so caught up into it, that while we’re so busy looking. We may tend to oversee that all we ever wanted is just right under our noses.

And I’m so glad that I’ve found this book again. For it is definitely worth reading.

Thank you.