First Frost: Book summary and reviews of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen X
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2015
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Media Reviews

"Allen has written a beautiful, lyrical story, complete with genuine characters whose depth reflects Allen's skill as a writer." - Publishers Weekly

The information about First Frost shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Jennifer K. Kershaw County Library, Camden, SC

Another Winner From Sarah Addison Allen
Allen's trademark blend of Southern charm and magical realism is once again in view in this follow up to Allen's debut novel Garden Spells. This was a fast, enjoyable read. I only hope the author will return to Bascom in a future volume--perhaps to tell us what happens to Bay, who is a teen in this story.

Jorie (Florida)

A serendipitously intuitive family
It is not often I find myself curled into a sequel of a previous novel (in this case "Garden Spells") wherein I find the writer has softened her writing voice and style. I found her previous work abrasively full of angst and bluntly wound through dialogue and narrative which felt oppressive. Inside "First Frost", I can happily express a soft stirring of serendipitous intuition endowed to a family (the Waverleys) who live in small towne North Carolina wherein their gifts are given freely to those who are in need of them. This is a story where an open mind towards opening a door of what is imaginatively possible is necessary to embrace the central heart of the novel's message.

Bay is the narrator of the story, as there is a 10 year gap between when we first met her and where this half of her life starts to unfold. She's a keenly observant teenager, clued in to being aware of how things fit together even when others are not as willing to accept how the pieces go together. Part coming-of age and part magical realism, where there is a slight suspension of reality in how it is regularly perceived knits this heart-warming tale into your heart. You cannot help but ponder the deeper layers of what Allen is attempting to convey. Even the old house and the fabled apple tree have been given a breath of life most innate objects are not given the freedom to having.

It is a step inside the lines between where fate and faith intercept with human intuition, and how far we sometimes have to travel along our path in life to understand the full scope of who we are and where we are meant to fulfill our niche. A foothold of the undertone of the story is spilt out of the lyrical prose fused with the hidden meanings oft gone unnoticed whilst life ebbs forward and away from our sight. The mysteries of who we are at birth and who we become defined as we mature into adulthood isn't a straight line nor is it a finite designation; the beauty is how we allow ourselves to stay in motion, seeking ourselves in the quiet moments and acknowledging the path whilst appreciating the journey.

I personally did not want this story to end, as you become so caught up in the moment of being with the Waverley's -- you find yourself being pulled into their orbit without wanting to return to your own. Unlike "Garden Spells", this sequel is unputdownable!

Colleen T. (Lakewood, CO)

First Frost
I had read "Garden Spells" and was carried away by the story of the Waverley family. Sarah Addison Allen's new book, "First Frost" is a sequel that picks up ten years after "Garden Spells" and gives us another look at the emerging events in the Waverley family. What I like about the story is that the Waverley's, despite their family "talents", have all the issues and problems that any person or family has, and you learn how the Waverley's come thorough the tribulations as better people. I find Allen's writing style is exceptional and you really find yourself inside this world wishing it would never end. I highly recommend reading both books, as these are great for escaping from the everyday world.

Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA)

I love Sarah Addison Allen. A few years ago, I found Garden Spells and fell in love. I went to the book store and read all of the rest of her books. I gave them away and all my friends and especially my daughter are now fans. When I received this book as a First Impressions book I was elated. I wasn't disappointed. To go back to the Waverly family from Garden Spells was a treat. The book made me want to stop thinking of what is impossible and think only of possibilities.

Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)

First Frost
First Frost has all the elements that make Sara Addison Allen's novels so endearing. Her books always give the reader a Southern feel-good story combined with magical realism. This novels brings together second chances and romance in charming fashion. The cast of characters are misfits with heart. I highly recommend the book and this author.

Nancy L. (Denver, NC)

First Frost
What great characters! Each one would be great to be friends with - except one. Kept wondering what was going to happen at this year's First Frost. Loved making the apple tree itself a living thing! I'd like to know what happens in the future with Bay and her most interesting family. Follow up?

...19 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Sarah Addison Allen Author Biography

Photo: Melissa Markis

New York Times bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sarah grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journalist father for the former and her mother, a fabulous cook, for the latter). In college, she majored in literature.

After graduation, her big break occurred in 2007 with the publication of her first mainstream novel, Garden Spells, a modern-day fairy tale about an enchanted apple tree and the family of North Carolina women who tend it.

After publishing four bestselling books in five years, Sarah took a hiatus when she was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer at age 39. She returned to writing with her 2014 bestselling Lost Lake. She is now in ...

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