NetGalley recommended the ARC of Karen Hawkins’ new book, The Book Charmer, the second in the Dove Pond series. Now I am recommending it to you. In this enchanting tale, main character, Sarah Dove, has always loved books. So it was a no brainer that she would become the town librarian in the small, picturesque town of Dove Pond, NC, the town founded by and named after her ancestors. Sarah doesn’t just love books, she talks to them – and they talk to her!
After being sent from one foster home to another, Grace Wheeler and her sister, Hannah, were taken in by Ms. Giano, (Mama G to most folks). Now Grace is grown and is raising her deceased sister’s child, Daisy, and is caregiver to Mama G., who has Alzheimer’s Disease. In an effort to provide a more familiar setting for Mama G., Grace quit her lucrative job in Charlotte, and moved to Mama G.’s hometown of Dove Pond to be the town clerk.
The books are telling Sarah that Grace is just what the doctor ordered for the failing town of Dove Pond. Grace plans to stay only one year, then return to her high-powered job in the big city. After a rocky start, the entire town comes to love Grace, and she loves them.
Then there is Travis Parker, who was severely burned in Afghanistan. Travis came home to heal, and ended up being a caregiver for his aging widowed father. Travis keeps to himself most of the time, but couldn’t help noticing the standoffish but gorgeous Grace Wheeler.
The Book Charmer is not just a sweet, heartwarming book, it deals with many issues that affect most or many people:
- the difficulty of raising a child;
- the fear and exhaustion of caring for an aging parent with dementia;
- the struggles of our wounded warriors;
- the physical pain those warriors suffer even after wounds appear to be healed;
- the overworked foster care program;
- the assumptions we make about men with tattoos and long hair;
- the regrets we all have after losing a parent;
- the assumptions often made about people living in small towns.
Ms. Hawkins has created a very special book. It’s a quick, easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Book Charmer should be made into a Hallmark movie.
What makes The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
Well, because this was an advanced reader’s copy that had not yet had its final editing when I read it, I will let the verb tense disagreement and numerous typos slide. Still, it did have its share of split infinitives, and the use of “bringing” in place of “taking” – both of which most editors these days seem to ignore. They shouldn’t.
Look down below, and you can take a look (on Amazon) at the first two books in the Dove Pond series, as well as the third one, A Cup of Silver Linings, due out in 2020. Based on how much I enjoyed this one, I highly recommend both of the others, as well.