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July 17, 2019

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins ~ a Review

by MK French


In the town of Dove Pond, good luck comes to the inhabitants if the Dove family has seven daughters. Sarah Dove is the youngest of the Dove sisters, and books have always spoken to her. She knows just which one to send to people to read, and she has always believed that she would help her town recover from the economic spiral it has fallen into. Grace Wheeler, a financial planner from Charlotte, has arrived in Dove Pond with her ailing foster mother and young niece. She isn't planning to stay in town for more than a year, but she's likely the one that can help the town recover.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

July 2019; Gallery Books; 978-1982135669
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); southern fiction
The town of Dove Pond has its quirky residents, and the Dove family apparently carry special abilities. Sarah speaks to books and wound up as the town librarian, and her older sister Ava has the landscaping company and makes tea blends. As with all small towns, everyone knows everyone else, and this kind of friendly familiarity is as heartwarming as it is at turns hilarious and irritating. Grace is pulled in so many different directions, and I understand exactly how overwhelmed she feels even though I'm not taking care of a mother with Alzheimer's disease. The story never once shies away from the difficulties that come as her memory fails, and it's rather rapid. In addition, the hurt that comes with her niece Daisy acting out because of all of the chaos is all too real and accurate. Grace tries her best, and the heartfelt conversation she had with Daisy about that had me choked up with emotion.

Magic in this novel is less of the caster variety and more of the gradual everyday kind of thing. The Doves have their abilities and everyone believes in signs, but it's the hard work that Grace inspires the committee members to do that saves the town. It's that they all band together when Mama G forgets where she is and wanders around at night, and that Grace isn't actually alone when disaster strikes. That's the real magic in this novel, and the relationships all ring true without being overwrought or hokey. I adored every page and all of the characters in them.

Buy The Book Charmer at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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