This book is perfect for them; its magical and uncanny and feels perfect for fall. There are ghosts, supposed witches, magical gardens, and lots of black cats. And the entire story revolves around the women of the Owens family, their unusual attractiveness and their troubles with love. Even though the story transpires over years and every season, it feels quintessentially autumnal. There is a pretty famous movie adaptation of this book, which I haven't yet seen, but if it's anything like the novel that inspired it I'm sure it would be a fun, cozy movie to watch right around Halloween.
The Owens women are unlike anyone else. They’re all almost unnaturally beautiful, each in a completely unique way. They draw men to themselves like flies are drawn to honey. Gillian and Sally, orphaned sisters who are raised by their unusual aunts. They were given an uncommon amount of freedom, which affects both girls different. Gillian is a wild child, who as an adult seems allergic to setting down roots anywhere or with anyone. Sally, on the other hand, has struggled to give her own daughters a perfectly normal life, in a town where no one knows her unusual family history. But trouble manages to find her anyway, in the form of her wayward sister.
How Gillian and Sally, along with Sally’s daughters, deal with the fallout from Gillian’s past is the central action of the story. But the central theme of the story is surrendering to love, especially when you least expected it. Which is a theme that honestly makes me roll my eyes and groan internally. I hate insta-love stories. I believe in lust or infatuation at first sight and love at first conversation, but I don’t believe that you can instantly fall in love with a person based solely on their appearance. Insta-love was a definite factor in this novel, and I’ll admit to some eye-rolling. But it’s a cute little romance that I enjoyed in spite of groaning on occasion.
There was a lot to enjoy in this book. The writing style was lovely; there something gentle and sweet about the flow of the prose. The narrative was vivid and lush and compelling. I could smell the lavender and feel breezes with no known source brush my face and taste magic sizzling on my tongue. The pace meandered, but the story unfolded quickly enough to prevent the tale from feeling slow. It was a fun, sweet, short novel, and perfect for readers looking to get into the Halloween spirit without being scared in the process.