Sarah Addison Allen's stories cast a spell that draws you into her world of enchantment. Everything looks familiar, but there's something slightly magical that you can't quite touch - a whiff in the air or a glimpse out of the corner of your eye that twinkles and is gone. I was mesmerized by her first book, Garden Spells, and have been betwitched ever since.
After her mother's death, Emily Benedict moves to the sleepy southern town where her mother grew up to look for answers about the past. Emily discovers mysterious lights in the woods at night, an unexpected relationship with her reclusive 8-foot-tall grandfather, a secret long sheltered by one of the town's leading families, and a good friend in Julia - the local baker - who is keeping her own secrets about the past.
This is a beautifully written fairy-tale for adults, complete with a handsome prince, a friendly giant and a moral - people can change, the past can be healed, and we're all really not so different, after all. It's full of magical prose that leaves the wanta-be writer in me in awe.
I give this book my highest possible rating and encourage you to read all three of Ms. Allen's novels. When you put them down, don't be surprised to find a bit of glittering fairy dust in your lap.