The Book Charmer: A Novel

The Book Charmer: A Novel

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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The New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular MacLean Curse series crafts a charming and evocative story about a picturesque Southern town, two fiercely independent women, and a magical friendship that will change their lives forever.

The residents of Dove Pond, North Carolina, know three things: they have the finest bar-b-que this side of Atlanta, their Apple Festival is the best that ever was, and the town has phenomenal good luck whenever the Dove family has seven daughters. Fortunately, that time is now, because Dove Pond desperately needs a miracle.

The seventh daughter, Sarah Dove, believes in all things magical. Books have whispered their secrets to her since she was a child. Now the town librarian, she makes sure every book finds the reader who most needs it. But recently the books have been whispering something different—that change is about to come to Dove Pond. Sarah is soon convinced that the legendary Dove Pond good luck has arrived in the form of new resident, Grace Wheeler.

After the tragic death of her sister, Grace has moved to Dove Pond with her grieving young niece and ailing foster mother hoping to retrench financially and emotionally before returning to her fast-paced city life. But she soon learns that life in a not-so-sleepy town isn’t as quiet as she’d hoped. Despite her best efforts to focus on her family, she can’t avoid the townspeople, especially her next-door neighbors, the quirky and talkative Sarah Dove and cynical veteran Chris Parker. Grace’s situation grows more complicated when she assumes her duties as town clerk and discovers that Dove Pond is on the verge of financial ruin.

Already overburdened by her own cares, Grace tries to stay aloof from the town’s issues, but she’s never been good at resisting a challenge. With Sarah’s encouragement, and inspired by the wise words of a special book, Grace decides to save her new town. And in her quest, she discovers the rich comfort of being a part of a loving community, the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the heartfelt power of finding just the right book.

With Karen Hawkins’s “fast, fun, and sexy” (Christina Dodd) prose, The Book Charmer is a feel-good story with plenty of heart that will appeal to fans of Sarah Addison Allen, Alice Hoffman, Heather Graham, and Jude Deveraux.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508292593
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Series: Dove Pond Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Karen Hawkins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of many wickedly funny historical romance novels set in Regency Scotland, including the wildly popular MacLean Curse series, the enchanting Hurst Amulet series, the funny and charming Duchess Diaries series, and now the romantic Oxenburg Princes series. Karen is also the author of sassy contemporary romances set in the little town of Glory, North Carolina. Find out more at and

Tavia Gilbert is an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry. Named the 2018 Voice of Choice by Booklist magazine, she is also an Audie Award nominee and the recipient of numerous Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. With frequent inclusion on best of year and annual top ten lists, she is a trusted and increasingly sought-after actress for work across every genre, from children’s and YA, to literary fiction, nonfiction, and genre fiction. Audible has named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir, and Library Journal said of her, “as close as you can get to a full-cast narration with a solo voice.” She is a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral, with fiction and nonfiction focusing on relationships, love, and identity.

Amanda Ronconi is an actress and narrator who divides her time between New York City and upstate New York. She holds a BFA from New York University, where she studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory. Amanda has performed in theaters around New York City and regionally, as well as on film and television.

Sebastian York is an audiobook narrator whose readings include Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines and Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren, among others.

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The Book Charmer 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Oh my gosh this book is AMAZZZZINGGGG!!! Loveeee how all the chapters and pages grab you and take you right into the story. Loveee Sara the librarian and her whispering books and heroic Grace who comes to the rescue of the town of Dove Pond, North Carolina. Thank you to Bookishfirst and author Karen Hawkins for the advanced reading copy of this awesome read. Much much success to you both. For all the reading fanatics whether you read physical copies of books e-books or even listen to them I highly recommend this fantastic heartfelt read to you all. Also highly recommend this to everyone who has read the books Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman and Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Kudos!!!
Anonymous 4 months ago
I fell in love with Grace Wheeler, her niece, Daisy, and Mama Giano. Mama had been Foster mother to Grace and Grace loved her dearly. I wish and hope there will be more books so I can learn about Ava Dove and see if Sarah Dove can talk to Blake. Karen Hawkins has outdone herself on this book.
Anonymous 4 months ago
rcahill 4 months ago
The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins will be the perfect Hallmark Movie. This book is a quick read with romance, the search for a home, and friends becoming family. Hawkins includes touches of magical realism that are written seamlessly into the story and do not detract from the main storylines. The novel follows the life of Grace who, along with her sister Hannah, moved through the foster system before finding a home with Mama G. We also meet Sarah, who is the 7th Dove daughter of her generation, meaning she will be the miracle her small-town needs. When these two come together years later, neither has lived the life they imagined. They will have to learn to rely on each other to overcome the obstacles, in love, work, and with families, that have been laid in their way. This book is above average for this genre and will have you cheering for all of the characters.
ScarlettG12 10 days ago
I was actually really looking forward to reading this book because look at that pretty cover. It totally drew me in. I don't think it was as good as I was hoping it would be, but I still really enjoyed it! There are a lot of great things this book has going for it. The setting, for one. I probably love this little town and the way it's described so much because it reminds me of the little town from my all time favorite show Gilmore Girls. Dove Pond and Stars Hollow could totally exist in the same universe. This book also has a lot of quirky characters just like Gilmore Girls, with the extra bonus of the fact that everyone in town has their own unique "thing"...the ability to cook really well, an extra special green thumb, a longstanding feud with another family that no one even remembers the cause of, every woman in the family has attracted a rich man, the ability to hear books. It's silly and charming and I really loved it. Now the actual storyline I felt like had the potential to be amazing, but the main focus of the book wasn't that exciting to me. If it had been focused on Grace and Hannah as foster children finally finding Mama G, like the prologue hinted at, I think that would have been a great storyline. Or Grace's unique family life suddenly having to raise her niece and take care of her foster mother with dementia, I loved when those parts were focused on. But the saving the financially dying town storyline was the least interesting part of the book. I kinda feel like it was ALMOST amazing but then fell short. It's funny, I was hooked by the first half of the book, which was really just set up and introducing these crazy characters and this charming town. Once the actual plot got going, I was less interested. That being said, I think Karen Hawkins is a great author. There were so many beautiful sentences and memorable quotes that I had to stop reading and think about for a second. I should have written them down. And the setting and the characters were amazing and charming and so well done. But the storyline left some to be desired. I will say, I didn't realize this was the first in a series. The way it ended really wrapped up this storyline but I bet these characters continue in the next book and have an entirely different plot, so I'm excited to see where it goes from here.
Darlareads 15 days ago
Magical. Charming. Small town. I am not a fan of high fantasy, but I can be charmed by a sprinkle of magic and whimsy...this book struck that perfect balance for me. Sarah Dove has heard books speaking to her for years. She doesn't always know why, but she often give books to people, trusting the reason will be revealed. Sarah is discouraged by the decline of her town, the one that bears her family name, Dove Pond. A very special book tell her who will help save the town, but Grace has no interest in staying beyond her one year, self imposed deadline. If that's already too much magic for you, maybe pass on this one. But if you are willing to go along with it, a quirky, whimsical, heartwarming story awaits. Bigger themes: grief, PTSD and dementia are explored through these characters. I especially appreciated the way female friendships are portrayed and the realistic stress caregivers can experience. I was very invested in Dove Pond, its survival and its residents It seems the story will continue, as this book is designated Dove Pond 1. I'll be happy to make a return visit. Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the complimentary digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
Jihan1281 16 days ago
When I first saw this book, it was an instant love at first sight thing for me. I love the cover so much! I knew that the story is going to be in a southern setting by just seeing the cover, and I don't know why but it made the book more appealing. I just finished the book this morning and I am not disappointed. As I expected, it is a fun and easy read. The author's writing style really worked for me. Just enough combination of drama, romance, and magic. The book follows a story of a southern town which is in a deep financial crisis. Grace, who just moved to town with her adoptive mother and niece developed an unexpected friendship with Sarah and rest of the town's people. Using their gifts, the characters will work together to help make their town stable again. The story is about hope, friendship, love, and of course how books can play an important role in our lives.
LCaulkins 23 days ago
I absolutely adored this book!! Hawkins succeeded brilliantly at combining the fun magical family strand of Practical Magic (though this is lighter) with the community-turned-family closeness of Because of Winn-Dixie. While doing so, she preserved her own voice in this cross-over to a new genre for her. I eagerly await the second in the series. (Drop everything you're doing, Karen, and keep writing!!!) :D The only glitch was the abrupt turn-around in Grace's attitude - felt like a little chapter was missing there, but this cannot take away from the charm and warmth in this story. Hawkins gives us several characters who overcome hardships to create harmony and belonging and deep connections. We see the kind of bone-deep committment between Grace and Mama G that we all yearn to have with someone and the way people deal with powerfully painful wounds inflicted by traumatic illness and errant loved ones. We see characters come to terms with personal shortcomings and learn to see things from others' points of view. Hawkins plants this resonating and multifaceted relationship drama in the kind of lovely small town that many of us would relish living in, yet the rejuvination arc for this town provides many avenues for future developments. Hoorah, because that means plenty more installations for us to read!
Anonymous 29 days ago
I can only say I've fallen in love with Dove Pond. A charming quirky little town full of well-drawn characters by masterful storyteller Karen Hawkins. For those that love the books of Fannie Flagg, Jan Karon, Jamie Farrell, and Dorothea Benton Frank, it is a Must Read. And for myself, I find I am eagerly anticipating her next in this series.
KarlieSch 29 days ago
"It's odd --- when you look back, things seem simpler, but they weren't. ...When it's a memory, you already know the outcome, so we believe it was an easier time. Looking forward is much more uncertain, and so feels more complicated." Reading The Book Charmer was a nice change of pace for me.  With it's small town setting and the bit of magical realism, this book reminded me of a comfort food.  While Karen Hawkins touches on some tough topics, the overall feel good attitude of this story really warmed my heart.  The importance of family and friends shines through. : G .  a the . ⁣
melindakay82 3 months ago
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did! The setting was reminiscent of Gilmore Girls - small, sleepy town with eccentric residents. The back story of the main characters was nicely developed. This was a perfect book to read at the end of summer.
PNWBookworm 3 months ago
This book was such a fun read! I adore books that are able to mix in a little magical realism and make is seem believable. If you love books from Sarah Addison Allen then you need to read this book. This story alternates view points and I loved all three of the main characters. I found that each one offered a unique view and had great depth. I loved the story and the town itself too. This was a really great read and I definitely recommend it!
Morgan_S 3 months ago
This book reminded me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in that it made me wish for small towns where everyone knows everyone, and cares for each other in a deep and meaningful way. I wish more communities were like this. While the book's title refers to a specific character, the story is not only about her, but another woman who is new to town and carries a lot of emotional baggage, while trying to support her niece and her foster mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We read from three different characters' points of view in the book, Sarah, Grace, and Trav, and while Grace aggravated me the most with her stubbornness and refusal to accept help for so long, I also understood where she was coming from. It was part of the fun to see the town throw everything they had at her to get her interested enough to partake in events, and Trav's point of view was my favorite as he thawed towards the prickly woman. This book made me cry in joy and sorrow, but oh is it relevant. You never know what someone might be going through, or what happened in his or her life previously to cause them to be the way they are now. There is also a lightheartedness to the book as well, though, despite the characters' struggles, with the help of some magic that lets Sarah know what book everyone needs. I wish there was a little more at the end though; there were some loose threads I'd love to see tugged and written about. I don't know if there are any more books in the works set in the town of Dove Pond, but I would LOVE that! I need more Dove Pond antics and romance and friendships and books and tea!
Dawn Teresa 3 months ago
The Book Charmer was my first experience reading Karen Hawkins. Honestly, I was a little nervous because all of her previous work looked like traditional Harlequin-style romances. And I’m a bit book snobbish about bodice rippers. Those nerves turned out to be unwarranted because The Book Charmer was absolutely delightful! Straight from go, I was enchanted by Karen Hawkins’ prologue. Getting a glimpse of Sarah Dove and Grace Wheeler as children sets the stage and the tone while allowing the reader to see how each character’s past might influence her present. The present brings us to the small fictional North Carolina community of Dove Pond where Sarah has grown up and where Grace, her foster mother (Mama G), and her niece are moving in just down the street. Grace’s life has taken a sudden turn due to her sister’s death and her foster mother’s declining health, and they’ve come to Dove Pond because its memories might be helpful for Mama G. Both the characters and the setting are written with love. You’ll enjoy getting to know these women and the small town in which they live. I would liken The Book Charmer to Jan Karon’s Mitford series with younger women and sprinkled with a touch of magical realism rather than faith. Like Mitford, the town and its quirky cast of characters is full of charm and humor. This is ultimately a novel about family, friendships, community, and love. Karen Hawkins succeeds in giving her book heart without being sappy, and infusing her story with magic without being kooky. To make another comparison, if you’re familiar with Hallmark Channel’s original film/TV series Good Witch, you’ll find yourself as pleasantly at ease in Dove Pond as in Middleton. The Book Charmer turned out to be the perfect summer read, comfy and cozy like your favorite old t-shirt. And getting to the end felt like having to say goodbye to new friends. Luckily, this is the first in a series so I’ll be able to visit Dove Pond and its inhabitants again! Verdict: 4.5 of 5 Hearts: The winsome characters and small-town setting make for a magical reading experience! *Disclosure of Material Connection: I was given access to an arc of the above book from the publisher via Netgalley in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Bookwormish-Me 3 months ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This is a lighthearted, charming story of small town life. Grace Wheeler has moved her family to Dove Pond, hoping that her foster mother's childhood home will help with her Alzheimer's diagnosis. She keeps repeating that it's only for a year, but as she gets more involved with town life and its people, the more it feels like home. I was disappointed that the story made Sarah, the woman who can hear books, a secondary character. She was important to the story, but I wish she had been in it more. Maybe in later books, as I noticed this is book 1 of a series. I look forward to reading about some of the other characters in later books. Overall, this book was cozy and inviting, a great book to snuggle up with under a comfy blankie with a cup of tea.
DiiFL 3 months ago
There is warm-hearted magic in the small town of Dove Pond and it is all because of the Dove family. The current custodian of the town is librarian Sarah Dove, who lets books talk to her, tell her who needs them and what she should do, cryptically, of course. Who know what will happen when Sarah follows their orders, but it is always for the good of the town and especially the people who live there. Lately the books have talked about a stranger coming to town, Grace Wheeler, who has her hands full with her orphaned niece and elderly mother who suffers from worsening dementia. For Grace, Dove Pond is just a temporary stopover, a place to re-group and get her bearings, but the books say otherwise…and Sarah knows the books are never wrong. THE BOOK CHARMER by Karen Hawkins is a delightfully charming and quirky tale of finding inner peace, a place to grow roots and learning to stop and smell the roses. Fun, heartwarming, heartbreaking and sweetly romantic, this read will fit into your beach bag perfectly as the unusual citizens of Dove Pond worm their way into Grace’s heart, as well as any reader who wants a little sunshine in their lives! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Gallery Books!
blonde_betty 4 months ago
The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins is that book that reminds every childhood reader of the magic of books. Summers spent with imaginary friends. I remember books talking to me; okay they still do, but not the way they talk to Sarah Dove. From the first sigh of remembrance in the first chapter I was hooked. Hawkins leaves some decidedly loose ends, so I hope that we get to return to Dove Pond soon. This was the perfect summer read, lazy and heart-warming. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
Aqswr 4 months ago
This is a sweet yet satisfying book for everyone that loves a happy ending for lost but good-hearted souls. In this instance we have a set-up for a series, with a small North Carolina town that needs rescuing along with a few of its citizens who have come upon hard times. As expected from this type of cozy tale, a pinch of magic, help from unexpected places and the assistance of their fellow citizens will all come into play before the story ends. For the reader, a few tears will be shed and a few pearls of wisdom read; the author Karen Hawkins provides well on all levels. I received my copy from the publisher on NetGalley.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This was a very charming story and a bit of a year jerker as well. I hope to see more about the people of Dove Pond.
DragonNimbus 4 months ago
Karen Hawkins has crafted a delightful book. The Book Charmer is well-written and so much fun to read. Its about Dove Pond, a small town populated with a crew of characters that are kind, funny, and very nosy. The Dove family has produced 7 girls in each generation since founding the town. The girls in this generation, especially the seventh daughter,Sarah, have special talents. Sarah is the titular Book Charmer and local librarian. The books actually speak to her and one in particular, a diary of the founder of Dove Pond, tells her that Grace will save the town from falling to ruin. Sarah has no idea who Grace is or what she's supposed to do, that is until a new family moves in to Dove Pond. Grace is a tough, organized financial adviser. She doesn't let people close except Mama G, her foster mother who has Alzheimer's, and her niece, 8 year old Daisy. The little family moves to Dove Pond, where Mama G was raised, hoping the familiar place will slow her decline. Add to their troubles is the death of Grace's sister and Daisy's mother, Hannah, from overdose. Three sad, angry people who love each other dearly and are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Travis lives between Sarah and Grace. He recently lost his father to dementia and is still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder so barely sleeps and is usually on the grumpy side. Trav and Sarah have been friends since pre-school so she knows what a great guy he is. He slowly comes back to himself as Daisy and Mama G work their way into his heart, as does Grace, much to her discomfit. Dove Pond works its magic on these people and their problems as does Sarah and her books. There was a lot of sorrow to be overcome, but Hawkins handles everything with loving care and sensitivity and a great sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - it was like taking a vacation from my own life and hanging out with an excellent group of friends. Readers of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen will love the Book Charmer as will anyone who reads it. The Book Charmer is also suitable for young adults as well. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!
SoSheTries 4 months ago
Oh, my friends, how I loved The Book Charmer! It has a dash of magic, mixed in with small town charm and a severe love of books. If you're a fan of Sarah Addison Allen books (and I very much am), then you will ADORE this book like I did. Dove Pond is special. The Dove family has 7 daughters, and the seventh daughter has a bit of magic and that magic helps keep Dove Pond going. Sarah Dove is the seventh daughter of this generation of Doves, and her ability is that books speak to her. She's the town librarian and has the uncanny ability to pair books with people, even if they don't particularly think they need the book she chooses for them (they always do need it eventually). But even though the book is about Dove Pond, Sarah isn't really our main character, Grace is. Grace is rough around the edges, and she has every reason to be. She had a tough childhood, and even though she thought she had her life figured out as an adult, life throws her a curveball. I don't want to give too much more away about Grace's character or backstory, because it definitely could be a spoiler. This book made me laugh, it made me cry (a lot more times than I'd care to admit) and I just wanted to hug it when I was done reading it. I loved all the quirky characters and how they danced around one another in their lives trying to figure out how to work together. The only thing I really wished was that the romance wasn't so behind the scenes. We know it happens, but I wanted a front row seat to the show. And I don't mean I need a graphic detailing, I just wanted MORE details of any kind. The Book Charmer is a first in what I'm sure will be a series that I will devour. I received this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jypsylynn 4 months ago
The Book Charmer is a charming read. Sarah is the book whisperer in the town of Dove Pond. A woman named Grace comes to town. Grace has many personal problems to deal with, and she's unaware that she will play an important part in the town, but Sarah knows. With a little magic and a little luck, things might turn out fine for both women. Or not? It's a delightful touching story that will cause laughter and tears. I recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
KristyJewel 4 months ago
The Book Charmer is my first Karen Hawkins novel, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I requested this book on NetGalley. When I first came across this book, it sounded right up my alley. I'm a book lover (I know, shocking), and I love reading books that feature a book lover. I generally can relate to the characters more, and I LOVE when I can relate to a character. The characters in The Book Charmer were so much fun. I enjoyed getting to know their nuances and quirks, and I felt like Dove Pond was remarkably similar to another favorite town that I grew up with, Stars Hollow. The town itself had a beautiful feel to it, and the townspeople just enhanced the story. Each character brought a fun aspect to the novel, and I loved seeing all of the interactions. I especially loved the romance aspect of this book. I will admit, the magic realism of the book at times felt a little off. It was almost repetitive at times, and that became a bit dull for me. Even though the magic realism was a bit too repetitive, I found that I loved how realistic Karen Hawkins was able to write real-world issues. This book dealt with some serious and hard issues such as PTSD & Alzheimers. I do feel that Karen Hawkins did an excellent job of showing the problems that PTSD & Alzheimers can bring up. Along with that, I liked seeing the characters dealing with those occurrences as well. The one big problem I had with this book was how slow it felt. There were only a few instances where I was on the edge of my seat. The Book Charmer seemed to mosy around a bit. I found myself bored at some instances, but by the 50% mark, the pace quickened. I would have loved to feel more drawn in. All in all, the characters make this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who loved Gilmore Girls and Matilda. I definitely will look into the next book in the series. **I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**
gaele 4 months ago
I’m going to be completely clear here – if you are a book lover, a fan of reading and know that books can transport and transform – You MUST read this book! Gloriously magical, full of heart, challenges, grief and transformation, the story will take you places from laughter to tears, reinforcing your hope even as struggles with loss and leaving are present. Hawkins has infused the story with struggles: from PTSD to Alzheimer’s, foster care, rejection and acceptance and come up with a tale that will have you laughing and crying as you are surrounded by the story and its charm. Grace and her sister Hannah were bouncing from home to home in the foster system until they met Mama G. Where Grace was struggling with her anger and determination to ‘make a place’ for Hannah, Hannah was always ‘on the margins’ and never quite engaged. But Mama G gave them a place that was secure and solid, and showed them love when it was hard to come by. In fact, she was the first “home” the girls ever had. But knowing that life is ever-changing, Grace worked hard to make something of herself, getting a good job and popping back to see her sister and Mama G when she could. Until the worst happened, and Hannah overdosed, leaving her eight year old daughter Daisy with Mama G, and turning their world upside down. And things are only getting worse: Mama G’s health is failing, and Daisy is constantly acting out – being an “auntie” is far easier than being the mother-figure, and with dementia showing it’s ugly head, Grace’s world is in tumult. One of the suggestions from the doctors was to move Mama G into a place that was familiar, so Grace takes the position as Town Clerk in Dove Pond, a new place, a rented house and plenty of challenges to come. Never the most open or friendly, Grace isn’t adapting well to the ‘everyone knows your name” vibe in Dove Pond, and the fact that the Dove sisters, all with “something special” living 2 doors away doesn’t help. Nor does the motorcycle riding tattooed guy that she calls “Khal Drogo” with the associated scowl, and Daisy’s fascination with him doesn’t help. Enter Sarah Dove, local librarian and “Book Charmer”, for as long as she can remember, books have spoken to her – allowing her to find the ’perfect’ book for everyone she encounters, and the “history” from the first Dove ancestor is telling her that Grace will be the one to save the town. So Sarah sets out on a friendship crusade, she is going to make Grace like her, and enlist the help of her best friend and neighbor to them both, Travis. After dealing with the burns received in Afghanistan, and then nursing his father through his dementia, Travis is determined to let no one in. But, with a few wandering nights from Mama G, who remembers babysitting his father and is obviously in need of help – he shows both Grace and Mama G the kindness and care they never expected. Especially since Grace seems to be having difficulty with managing her niece and her mother-figure, and accepting help and guidance from the community. It is said that trauma in children stops their emotional growth – and that was obvious for Grace – as she grows and comes to learn that everyone will help her in Dove Point, just because it’s what they do, and what she needs. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to see everything work out for everyone even as my heart broke for Mama G and her fear, the kindness of neighbors and the magic that Sarah Dove and her sisters brought to the story. This book