Just as when everyone raves about a movie, it turns out to be a let down, so did Garden Spells for me. Books incorporating a little magic are appealing, but the apple tree in this story exceeded my ability to suspend my sense of credibility. The first half of the tale is stronger than the second, as the two estranged women warily attempt to connect with one another as sisters. The development of the characters and the presentation of the Waverly family’s spiritual gifts were also very well done. But things start to go over the top during the second half, and the plot descends into the romance genre. The climax is over before it becomes as menacing as it should have been, and the way in which it is resolved is nothing less than ludicrous. Garden Spells falls into the category of a good beach or plane read, but it could have been so much more. Sarah Addison Allen is a new author with potential as yet unmet.