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    Charming is precisely what this book is!

    Charming is a perfect description for The Book Charmer. This lovely novel tackles trust, pain, and love in the town of Dove Pond, NC. Grace Wheeler and her sister Hannah have been bounced from home to home. They’re about to land at the one last chance they have before the system will split them up and send Grace to a group home. Mrs. Giano, better known as Mama G, will take a look at them and decide if she’s willing to tackle the demons that rest inside Grace. All grown up, a bit later, Grace is now responsible for Mama G and Hannah’s daughter Daisy. Mama G is struggling with the early stages of Alzheimers, and Daisy needs a fresh start. Giving up her dreams of success in the financial industry, Grace moves the patched together family to Mama G’s birthplace of Dove Pond. Dove Pond offers a chance for Mama G to be in a place that feels safe, even if it doesn’t afford Grace the job or future she’d intended. Meanwhile, Dove Pond has its own set of issues. When Grace takes over the job of town clerk, she uncovers a mess that could take the town down. Working with a feckless mayor who thinks his primary job is fishing and glad-handing, and being the new girl in town, she’s about to take on a challenge any bigger than she’s ever had. Will Grace be able to handle the changes? And will she let anyone in to help her? Karen Hawkins has written such a beautiful novel of love. Grace and Daisy are both somewhat broken, and find themselves in a place of magic in Dove Pond. Neither wants to let anyone in, too many trust issues, but the magic of Dove Pond can’t help but work its way into their hearts. The author deals with the realities of Alzheimers and what it’s like to live with someone you love when their mind is slipping. Also, how the foster system can break and heal those broken by it. She has created a place that anyone would want to pull up stakes and move to. Not sure if Dove Pond will be a series (it does say book #1) but I truly would love to know more about the town and the residents. Dove Pond will be a place I want to visit again and again. The Book Charmer and it’s hometown have charmed me, as I’m sure it will charm others. This review will be posted at close to publication date.
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    A sweet book filled with magic and friendships

    This book was just what I needed. A sweet book with a touch of magic, romance, wonderful friendships, and the reminder that life can be bitter sweet. It was as if the book chose me. ;) If you are a fan of Sarah Addison Allen, or books like Chocolat by Joanne Harris or Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, this book might be one you enjoy. I recently found out that this genre is called Magical Realism. A touch of magic in the book, but never an out and out call out to being a witch. I think this genre could appeal to a more broader readership than Fantasy, although I love both types of books. Karen Hawkins wrote about a town similar to mine, and many across the nation. One that is full of good people, but is still slowly dying. Hawkins focuses a lot on character development which is what makes this story so good. You get to know the townsfolk and want to root for them to succeed in their personal lives as well as reviving the town to its previous splendor. Hawkins also explores a lot of issues that many people have gone through, including suicide, child abandonment, foster care, having to change careers to be a caregiver, and dementia. I always find it appealing to read about issues that I’ve experienced, and see how others deal with it, to know that I’m not alone in the struggle. And although I said this is a sweet book, it really does pack an emotional wallop. I highly recommend, The Book Charmer, and am looking forward to reading more in the series, including the eNovella, Love in the Afternoon, which introduces the Dove Pond NC series.
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    Another hit for Karen Hawkins. A heart felt story. I wish I lived in this town. Sarah and Grace were my friends.
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    Perfectly charming

    I enjoyed how The Book Charmer largely had two narratives, initially set in opposition to one another but gradually coming together in friendship - Sarah, Dove Pond native and fierce town advocate, and Grace, unwilling new resident who yearns for bigger things. The occasional chapters by Trav were some of my favorites, his perspective was a welcome change. Sarah's touch of magic - books speak to her, offering hints and asking to go home with certain people - was a fun addition, and it's not so overwhelming as to turn what is basically a contemporary story into a full-blown fantasy. The themes of grief, trauma, illness, found family, solitude and learning to depend on others were handled with appropriate weightiness while still leaving this a largely warmhearted book that will uplift readers.

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