Release Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Women's Lit | Magic Realism
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.
Oh Sarah Addison Allen, how you give me the feels! Your stories are like warm apple pie or hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows. Whatever your comfort treat it, THAT'S how I always feel about her books and FIRST FROST is no exception.
FIRST FROST is the sequel to Garden Spells, a series about a family and their curious apple tree. Each Waverly has some sort of knack which I assume is gifted by their enchanted tree, lending this series beautiful magical elements. Claire's gift is with foods, she can influence your thoughts and emotions from the dishes and treats she makes. Her sister Sydney has a way with people's manes, a haircut from her salon may change your luck for better or worse, depending on what her mood is for the day. Bay, Syndey's daughter, has a knack for knowing where things and people belong. Then there are an assortment of secondary characters and residents of Boscom, North Carolina that, I guess, has a little bit of magic flowing in their veins as well, making this series so feel good like getting a sprinkle of fairy dust.
I'm not a big fan of multiple POV's but since the series is about a family and their struggles it only makes sense that we would have opportunities to see life through their eyes. It worked for me because FORST FROST is told in third person point of view and there is a cohesive plot that pulls all of the Waverly women's story together.
Also, FIRST FROST is another after HEA story, giving us a peek of how Claire and Sydney's lives are going after their emotional and tense-filled reunion in Garden Spells. The sisters have now accepted their gifts, living charmed lives with their respective partners, their business ventures are successful, everything you expect or want for an HEA to be.
However it seems the past isn't done with them because a mysterious person brought some interesting information that shook the Waverly sister's world a little bit. The conflict is very subtle and to me it was more about Claire and her bond with her sister than the actual problem at hand. Their sibling relationship hasn't always been smooth and this hump tested how far they've grown. Suffice it say it was a stressful but heartwarming experience.
FIRST FROST is a delightful novel set in a charming small town starring people who's struggles we all can identify with. I wouldn't call the world supernatural, magical is a more appropriate adjective to use in this case because it's speculative and the Waverlys' abilities are more of gifts than outright superpowers. FIRST FROST, like the rest of SAAllen's books, didn't disappoint, her simplistic yet moving stories elicit warm tender feelings from me and I always feel good days after reading her novels. I look at her brand of magical realism as more metaphorical than literal but regardless of how one interprets it, I can guarantee that she will inspire wonderful feelings from you. So if you haven't tried her work, I suggest you do because you're missing out on something great and if you have, don't make the mistake of skipping FIRST FROST, it's a winner!