I really, really liked this book. It's probably the only "magical realism" book I've really liked. Even Allen's second book, The Sugar Queen, didn't come close to matching the delightfulness that is Garden Spells.
I saw several negative reviews on Good Reads and Amazon, and all I can say is, I don't agree. I liked this book both times I read it. The characters made me care about them, and I saw several spiritual parallels in one of the characters in particular, and in the cantankerous, independent apple tree in the garden.