I give Garden Spells 2 stars.
This book was a light easy read, and it was a sweet story, but ultimately unoriginal and forgettable. I don't think I would have been as disappointed if I had just picked it up at random, but looking at the SIBA list, I LOVED all the books on there that I'd read already; Gods in Alabama, Marley and Me, and The Secret Life of Bees. This book doesn't come close to those.
This is a story about the women in the Waverly family who all have special powers. The older sister Claire runs a catering business using the magical plants that grow in their garden. The younger sister, Sydney grew tired of being one of the 'odd Waverly girls' and left home right out of high school. She returns unexpectedly 10 years later with a young daughter. Her return throws off Claire's routine and disturbs some of her former high school friends.
The characters were flat and unappealing and I felt like the plot really dragged along. This is a book that I think would make a better movie than a book, because the idea is good, and good actors could make the characters more interesting than this author did.
The best part of the book, and the most well developed character is the sister's aunt who is compelled to give people odd things that they find they need later. It's a great character and a very funny plot line.
The book was entertaining while I was reading it, but ultimately disappointing.