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Over Christmas I read two books with a supernatural flavouring. They were very different from one another but I enjoyed both!

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells


‘Welcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The house that’s been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumours of dangerous loves and tragic passions. Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic’.

At the heart of this story are two sisters trying to reconnect in an old large house with a magic garden. As other reviewers have pointed out there are very close similarities to Practical Magic which I have never read but have seen the film.

The magic in the story is lovely and playful, from a tree that lobs apples at people’s heads to purple sparks floating around men in love! It is all very charming and the writing is beautiful and as sweet as the cakes that Claire makes with her edible flowers.

Reading this book is like stepping into sunshine on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea in one hand and a crumpet in the other. Oh and it does have a very pretty cover!

Duma Key by Stephen King

Duma Key

When Edgar Freemantle moves to the remote island of Duma Key to escape his past, he doesn’t expect to find much there. But Duma has been waiting for him, and something in the view from his window urges him to discover a talent he never knew he had.

Edgar Freemantle begins to paint. And as he paints, the island’s secrets begin to stir. Secrets of children lost in the undertow, of a ghost ship riding the distant horizon – and a family’s buried past reaching long hands into the present.

I don’t know where to begin. To start with it is King whose stories always have me gripped and unnerved. I am even fascinated with the notes to readers he includes in many of his books. I think if I were to ever meet him I would go into some sort of horrible fandom melt-down.

The thing with Stephen King, and it is certainly true with Duma Key is that he introduces you to these characters that are so fully formed you feel like you’ve known them for years within a couple of pages. Edgar, the main man of this story, has your sympathies right from the start. He moves to Duma Key whilst recovering from a severe accident that took his arm, nearly crippled his legs and gave him a big nasty knock to the head. As well as trying to escape his old life, Edgar is trying to get control of his memory and outbursts of anger that have cost him his marriage in the aftermath of the accident.

I don’t want to give away much more because the pleasure is in the twists and turns in the journey. The book is long and takes it’s time, which is a good thing because when I had finished I was sad to have to put the book down.  You should pick it up!