Madapple was a finalist for the American Library Association Award, and I’m on the waiting list to read it.
Here are some other titles you may enjoy:
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce.
Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte struggles to keep the family's woolen mill running in the face of an overwhelming mortgage and what the local villagers believe is a curse, but when a man capable of spinning straw into gold appears on the scene she must decide if his help is worth the price.
Another book by James Howe that you may enjoy is The Misfits. The book is about four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school and decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.
Romance and lust and family dynamics feature prominently in "Rococo" by Adriana Trigiani. Some other titles that you might like:
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy... (B)ehind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina...an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them. (from Barnes & Noble)
"An Unpardonable Crime" by Andrew Taylor best fits into the category of literary mysteries in a historical setting. This is a genre that I personally enjoy reading, especially if a real person from history is featured in the story. Here are some other good titles in this genre.
If you liked Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks, how about trying:
Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller When Robert Kincaid and Francesca Johnson meet, magic happens. Kincaid, 52, a photographer for National Geographic, a mystical traveler of faraway land, feels out of harmony with his time. Francesca, 45, once a young war bride from Italy, nurses her childhood dreams. --catalog summary