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If you’ve read Karen Hawkins’ books before and you love them you will love this book, but put away all the things you expect about Karen Hawkins’ stories except it’s going to be sweet; it’s going to have humor; and it’s going to be about connections.
This is an American small-town story of revival, both personal and community, and a story about friendship.
The book charmer, Sarah, is the small town librarian from the founding family of the Doves. The Dove family women have a little bit of magic. Some people might consider it intuition, some people might think it’s New Age baloney, but the Dove women have their gifts. Sarah discovered as a small girl that books actually spoke to her, quietly and her brain - sometimes disruptively, not always in a welcome way - but the books know things so Sarah listens.
Sarah also grew up thinking that somehow she was going to save their struggling, little town. She was waiting for the wisdom. The burden is so clear to her that she doesn’t consider that the inspiration may come from another person.
Enter Grace, she moves to Dove Pond with her tiny, hurting family just for a year to help her ailing foster mother, her young niece, and herself grieve her sister and gather themselves before moving back to the big city of Charlotte. Really, she doesn’t want to get to know people; she will just be leaving again. So this is a story about how even reluctant neighbors learn to trust one another, like one another, and then rely on one another.
The book starts slowly as we are introduced to many people but then takes off about the end of chapter 9. It is the first of a series about the small town and I am pretty sure there will be love stories coming up. There was a bit of romance in this one but it was a healing, tentative reaching sort of romance with the promise of an HEA.
I think I was expecting a romance so at first I thought the pace a bit slow but it is chatty and gossips about the townsfolk in a good humored way. There’s meat here and beautiful lessons about trust and connection. There are hints of some fun stories ahead and I have faith that they will be her usual funny and sweet romances.
It is a good beginning to what looks to be a fun series. Buy the book (or get your librarian to), read it, be patient with the slow beginning, and enjoy the sweetness of getting to know a new group of friends because although we don’t learn each other in a day we can still be kindred spirits.
This is definitely a charming book. However, I really wanted to love it more than I did. The title and blurb suggest that this is a book about Sarah, the woman who talks to books. (Actually, the woman that books talk to.) Yet this book really is not much about Sarah at all. We have an introduction that sets up the whole "book charmer" sequence when Sarah is young - and then we jump straight to adulthood, with no idea how this shaped her as she grew up, or how she learned to deal with this rare gift. She just has it. Similarly, we open with the troubled childhood of Grace, and the promise that things are going to turn around - but we never see that happen. We jump straight to Grace's adulthood as well. So many things we would have liked to see are never shown. Sarah is pretty much an adjunct to the story of Grace and her family. And even there, we see events, and we see outcomes, but it's not so easy to see the course of resolution. Things just get... resolved. Again, it's a charming read. But it doesn't give you the elements that the cover and title lead you to expect. If I found the second book at Goodwill I'd buy it, but I wouldn't pay full price after reading the first.
The Book Charmer is a wonderfully written story about facing the difficult events that life throws at you and rising above. Karen Hawkins fills the story with a range of emotions and a touch of magic that the reader can relate to. Dove Pond is a small town with charming, quirky characters. Sarah Dove is the town librarian with a special gift in which the books talk to her and her goal is to save the town from the downward spiral. Grace is dealing with the death of her sister, raising her young, rebellious niece and dealing with the devastation of her foster mom's descent into dementia. Travis served in the war until he was wounded. He is suffering from PTSD, scarring and also the death of his father from dementia and he just wants to be left alone. The story that follows will have the reader drawn in as if they are a part of the story and feeling the emotions the characters feel. This is an amazing story and I can't wait for the next one.
This is such a cool book. I loved reading it. The town would be a great place to live, and the residents are just what you would hope a wonderful small town would have. Sarah Dove is a very unusual young woman and a terrific friend, librarian and sister. Grace Wheeler has had a totally different life than Sarah, but she loves just as strongly. Her niece and foster mother are her top priorities, and her love for them is endless. This is a very special book. I didn’t want to put it down....so glad I read it.
What an absolutely charming story! I immediately fell in love with the women in this book. There is just something special about female friendships, helping and empowering each other to become fully engaged in their own lives. The community of Dove Pond is one I want to visit again and again and I am hoping to get every chance to do so!
At the very beginning of this book there is an introduction to Sarah, the seventh Dove daughter. The story goes that when the Dove family have seven daughters one of them have a special magic ability that will result in bringing prosperity to the town. Then there is Grace, a person that has had a hard life and more responsibilities than many can’t handle since she was 10 years. Leap forward and Sarah needs to make sure Grace stays in Dove Pond. There are many irrelevant characters that were added just to fill pages. There descriptions of characters around town with special abilities as well, and it was completely irrelevant. There is a bit of romance, but just that. Sarah and Blake? What was that all about? It feels like an open ending story. I don’t like those at all. If you like magical stories, where women have abilities that help them help others you MUST read Sarah Addison Allen’s The garden spell.
Realistic characters, real issues, real life, all with warmth, love and a touch of magic. Small town budgetary woes, the joys and sorrows experienced while slowly losing loved ones to dementia, loving family even when you don’t understand them and they make you angry, the special challenges and rewards of raising children not your own, facing personal demons and fears, and learning that sometimes asking for and accepting help makes you stronger.