Book: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Food: Pan Bagnat, Turkish Garbanzo Bean Salad (made by my MIL), Cheese and Crackers, Toasted baguette with Goat Cheese and Fig/walnut Jam, Lavender cookies, and homemade Honey-Lavender Ice Cream.
Wine of the Night: Amour de Paris Peach and Babble
I love Sarah Addison Allen's books, and I picked Garden Spells for our July book club because it seemed the like a really good midsummer read, with overflowing gardens and magic. Claire Waverly makes food that causes people to act in a certain way, a way that she chooses. For instance, Honeysuckle wine can make someone see in the dark, and rose geranium added to food can cause people to think of past good times. Her whole family had a special gift, but I liked Claire's the best. Which is why I made lavender cookies and ice cream for my book club friends - unfortunately I don't possess any magic so they were just plain old lavender cookies and ice cream, no special magic added. Although they were really good, if I do say so myself. Everyone seemed to really enjoy them.
Everyone read the book this time, and everyone seemed to love it. It reminded most of us of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, with the sisters, one of them running from a bad relationship, the magic, a garden. I loved reading all the lore behind the edible flowers, and would like to bake more from them, although I find the ingredients difficult to get. We did find Claire and Tyler's relationship romantic - like when he ate the apple that when eaten shows your future - Tyler only saw Claire. We also thought it was funny that Hunter John went by the name Hunter John, both names, but maybe that is a southern thing. Our resident southern girl couldn't make it to book club, or else we could have asked her.
It was a perfect fit for midsummer, and while I love all of Allen's books, this is my favorite.
Next month is Jill, and her pick is Gone Girl.