In Allen’s charming debut novel, Sydney Waverly arrives on her sister Claire’s doorstep with a five-year-old daughter in tow after ten years of estrangement. Claire has built a successful catering business using flowers and herbs from the weird and wonderful garden behind the family home, while Sydney has made a life out of ignoring the fact she was born with Waverly gifts. Claire can whip up a meal that helps people keep secrets and bake cupcakes that make children thoughtful, but she has a harder time relating to people around her. Sydney is adjusting to life back at home, trying to forget her troubled past and mend fences. Rounding out the cast of characters is Evanelle, an elderly woman who give gifts to people before they know they need them, and an apple tree that throws fruit at people. Garden Spells is a light, entertaining read about family and romance with a slight dusting of magic.