Synopsis from Good Reads:
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.
I received a copy of this title from Good Reads. It does not impact my review.
I didn’t think it would be possible to like this book as much as I did Garden Spells, but I was once again pleasantly surprised. Allen effortlessly weaves together multiple perspectives and storylines into one heartwarming tale of magic and family.
First Frost picks up ten years after Garden Spells ends. While Claire and Tyler and Sydney and Henry are still all happily married, they are not without their problems – mostly brought on by the magical craziness that always accompanies the wait for the first frost of the season that brings the temperamental apple tree into bloom. Claire has ditched her catering business in favor of candy making, which is a national success. However, she doesn’t find the growing success as gratifying as she thought she would and she begins to question to her magical Waverly ability. Sydney is obsessed with getting pregnant so she can give Henry a son, but things are not going according to plan. Bay is now a teenager and has found the boy that she belongs with, who happens to be the son of Sydney’s old high school boyfriend, but he – and the rest of the school – is not quite convinced.
I love Allen’s writing style. We get the perspective of many different characters which could become overwhelming, but here it’s balanced very well. There was never a time I felt was spent too long with one character and one perspective was never left in a cliffhanger. My only complaint is that I would’ve liked to have seen more from Tyler and Henry’s POV, but at it’s heart, the story is about the Waverly women, so I was ok with it.
Overall, I really enjoyed First Frost. It’s a very character driven novel, which I always appreciate. Even though I was skeptical of seeing these characters ten years later from the first book, I loved them just as much and enjoyed seeing their growth. There were plenty of sweet moments and a few surprising twists. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has read Garden Spells, and if you haven’t read Garden Spells, you should do that now!
Overall Rating (out of 5)