On the day the tree bloomed in the fall, when its white apple blossoms fell and covered the ground like snow, it was tradition for the Waverleys to gather in the garden like survivors of some great catastrophe, hugging one another, laughing as they touched faces and arms, making sure they were all okay, grateful to have gotten through it.
After reading Sarah Addison Allen’s new novel First Frost, I’ve decided that I love surprise sequels. If you’ve ever felt a little lost, or had an identity crisis, this book is for you (but first you need to read Garden Spells because it is the first time that we get to meet the Waverleys.)
Magic, food, magical food, magical candy, and a tree that throws apples, what more could a lover of magic want in a book? First Frost, when the world finally takes a break from the warm summer and the fall comes in full forces is a season that the Waverleys look forward to. In the weeks leading up to the first frost of the season, the Waverley women find themselves doing things they wouldn’t normally do, giving “their hearts away too easily” and getting distracted “by silver-eyed strangers.”
How will Claire, Sydney, Bay, and their families handle the week leading up to first frost? Will it change everything? Will the world around them crash?
There are many reasons why I love Sarah Addison Allen, but this book really encompassed it all. I love to find magic hidden in the bindings of an adult book, and it isn’t just the magic in the story, it’s also the magic in the words that she uses. Some of my favorite quotes from First Frost:
A breeze flew through, picking up some leaves and swirling them around, the sound like fluttering pages in a quiet library.
So I told him his bread was ugly, and he called me a dough diva. A do diva. Of all the nerve! We’re going out on Saturday.
She couldn’t change who she was, and she no longer wanted to, even if she could. She knew that who you are is a stone set deep inside you. You can spend all your life trying to dig that stone out, or you can build around it. Your choice.
She finally understood that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone love you. You can’t stop them from making the wrong decision. There’s no magic for that.
One part of my adventure in reading this lovely novel was to make the bread recipe that is one of the unsung heroes of the story. Fig and Pepper Bread. It was an adventure, as all of my baking experiences are. My stand mixer started smoking because I put on both bread hooks instead of just one (I still don’t understand why they would give you two if you don’t use both of them!), so I had to knead the dough by hand.
It was delicious bread. The pepper paired with the fig made a huge difference in flavor and I really liked the bread base. I have plans to experiment with this recipe using dried blueberries instead of figs. My final product looked amazing, don’t you think?
So, go get this book, read it and enjoy it as much as I did! If you haven’t read Sarah Addison Allen before, you really should give her novels a try. I’ve read them all and I have yet to be disappointed. The other things is that all of my friends have read her books as well and we all have a different favorite. They’re just all so good!