Friday, April 23, 2010

Making up for lost time

I finished two books this week: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, and Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb.

I was hooked on Garden Spells almost immediately; after all, the main character lives in her grandmother's Queen Anne Victorian with a tulip tree in the front yard. How could I not relate?!? But instead of two crabapple trees in the back yard, Claire's house has a beautiful garden and a magical apple tree. When her sister arrives with her young daughter in tow, they take refuge in the family homestead as well. It was a little predictable, but it was such a good read that I didn't put it down until it was done--at 2:00 a.m.!

Then I read Henry's Sisters, loaned to me too long ago. Wow. It could have been a southern novel--dysfunctional family living in grandmother's house, check!--but that it's about a Catholic family in Oregon. Henry is a developmentally delayed man who loves everyone, and his sisters return to the family home (and business-a bakery) when their mother has open-heart surgery. Their grandmother believes she's Amelia Earhart, which adds a little comedy. That's all I'll say, but I'll follow it with a caveat: I spent most of yesterday afternoon sobbing through the last 100 or so pages of the book.

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