I have loved everything I’ve ever read by Sara Addison Allen. So, note to self: READ her next book. I made the mistake of listening to this one, and it was the first audio I’d listened to in over 6 months. It always takes me awhile to get back into an audio groove, so my attention wandered a bit at the beginning. Which is why it probably took me a bit longer than it should have to realize the Waverley’s had returned. The Waverley’s were the subjects of Allen’s first book, Garden Spells, and I spent a good hour thinking that some of the characters seemed vaguely familiar, and others that didn’t, should have.
First Frost takes place ten years after Garden Spells. The Waverley sisters, Claire and Sydney, have settled into their careers and marriages. Claire is busy, busy, busy with her candy business, and Sydney is busy with her salon and even busier worrying about having another child. Sydney’s daughter Bay is 15, and settling into her own Waverley gift and worrying about boys (or at least one boy, Josh).
Most of the book is focused on these everyday worries of Claire, Sydney, and Bay. There is some slight drama from a mysterious stranger and his attempt at blackmail, but otherwise this book is like catching up with old friends and helping them through some gentle bumps in their lives. And of course, there is the ever-present dash of magical realism. Not too much to make the book overdone, but just enough to add to its charm.
Just like all the rest of her books. Which is why I love them so.