Thursday, July 25, 2019

As Warming as a Cup of Tea by the Fire

Dove Pond Book 1
Karen Hawkins
Simon and Schuster/Gallery
July 30, 2019

The Book Charmer is the first book in a series set in a sleepy small town in North Carolina. Founded by the Dove family, the sisters of the family have had individual "gifts" throughout the generations that have benefited the town. Only two of the sisters in the still live there, Sarah Dove and her sister, Ava. Sarah is the bookworm of the family, and her gift allows her to pick the perfect book for any person, one that will help that person with a challenge or need. Sarah is the librarian, so it is a handy gift, indeed. Sarah's books actually "speak" to her, insistently at times.

All is not well in Dove Pond, however. The population is declining, businesses are leaving, and the town is a fiscal disaster. Sarah always thought that she would be the one to save the town in hard times, but when a newcomer, Eve Wheeler, arrives to take the job of Town Clerk, one of Sarah's books tells her that Eve is the one who will change things. Eve is very different from most of Dove Pond. Raised in the foster system, along with her sister Hannah, Eve is a hard-charging, successful, aloof woman who doesn't plan to be in Dove Pond long. Her sister, Hannah, has recently died, leaving her daughter Daisy for Eve to raise. The woman who took in Eve and saved her from a wrong path, Mama G, has Alzheimers Disease. Mama G grew up in Dove Pond and Eve hopes she will be more comfortable there. Sarah immediately tries to befriend Eve, but she is not interested as well as overwhelmed. The journey to friendship is rocky, but Eve learns just how powerful it can be. It does take a village, including the scarred Afghanistan Vet next door to save Eve, her little family and Dove Pond.

The Book Charmer is as cozy and warm as a blanket, a fireside and a cup of tea on a cold night. I enjoyed the town and its quirky characters, especially Mama G, who even amid her terrible disease provides an anchor for Eve and Daisy. I highly recommend it and look forward to the rest of the series. Many Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING-5 Stars

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