First Frost Sarah Addison Allen Published: January 2015 Contemporary Fiction/Magical Realism
This is one of those authors who I discovered about a year ago and subsequently went on a mad dash to read all her books. First Frost is the first of her books to continue on with characters from a previous book--Garden Spells. I don't know that you have to read Garden Spells first, but it certainly deepens the experience.
Reading First Frost was like visiting old friends. In book time, nine years have passed since we first met Claire Waverly and her odd family. Claire lives in the old Waverly house she inherited from the grandmother who raised her. Out back they have an apple tree said to give eaters a glimpse into the biggest event of their future, so thankfully the Waverly's themselves are prone to dislike apples. Claire's catering business is successful for the unique recipes that help people feel better about themselves, or give them confidence, all thanks to ingredients from her special garden. Her sisters and cousin have their own subtle abilities, and it's fun to see how this low key magic threads through their lives and the small community they live in.
With First Frost, the crux of the story revolves around a mysterious stranger with secrets, and how the Waverly women struggle with their own identities, mainly reconciling their family legacies with their own desires and plans.
The small town aspect and focus on female friendships gives me a real Gilmore Girls vibe. If you're up for book that does not hinge on a murder or stuff blowing up or people being threatened or hunted or killed, then this is a great comfort read.
I'm Stephanie Scott and I write Young Adult fiction about teens who put their passions first. My debut ALTERATIONS releases 12/6/16 by Bloomsbury Spark. I enjoy dance fitness, cat memes, and Pinterest is driving me broke. I'm represented by Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Lit. Find me on twitter and Instagram at @StephScottYA