This is a simple little book, but possibly my favorite book of the year. So far. Seeing’s how it’s only January 14th, I’m sure many more (favorites) will come along.
After 10 years, Sydney Waverley is returning home to Bascom, North Carolina, and her family home. The Waverleys have lived in Bascom for many generations and are known for their magical garden. Sydney arrives home to find her sister Claire tending the garden and the family home, and running a successful catering business. Claire’s recipes are known for their effect on people…honeysuckle wine to help one see clearly, snapdragons to discourage love, violet for calm and happiness. And the mystical apple tree that grows in the garden is said to bear prophetic apples.
Although the sisters did not get along growing up, now that they are adults they forge a friendship and help each other to work through problems. Claire is afraid of commitment and abandonment, and Sydney is running from an abusive relationship. As they come to terms with their past, they work together towards a happier future.
As I said, this is a simple little story. But the beautiful writing style and magical realism (the apple tree steals a few scenes) make for a readable and happy tale.