Cover Image: The Book Charmer

The Book Charmer

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Member Reviews

I tend to read a lot of heavy books, so when I knew I needed a break from those, The Book Charmer turned out to be exactly what I needed. It was cute, funny, had a little bit of magic, and reminded me that you're never too old to change. I cannot wait to revisit the town in the sequel coming out soon!!
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Reading about the idyllic small town of Dove was as comforting as watching a Hallmark movie.  This was a predictable yet joyful read with a touch of book magic.  Fans of Gilmore Girls will love Dove and the quirky characters.
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The Doves have seven daughters. Sarah loves to go to the library and learned to read when she was three years old. Books are her life. A book calls to her that there is more to the story. Ava,Sarah's sister,loves to garden. Grace's mother left her and Hannah at a church and ran off with a dirty man. Grace is headed to foster care with Hannah.  Hannah grows up to have a eight year old daughter Daisy.everyone loved Hannah but her I liked the characters and dialogue.with sickness and difficulties Grace and family are in Dove pond. Inna is slipping in health. I was a little iffy about Sarah talking to books
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" ... just do yourself a favor; if Sarah Dove offers you a book, take it. You'll regret it if you don't."

Dove Pond, N.C., is no ordinary small Southern town. Among other miracles, it's home to Sarah Dove, a librarian who can communicate with the books she guards. The books tell her when specific residents need to read them. And lately they've been whispering that someone very special is moving to town. Enter Grace Wheeler. This city girl is coming to Dove Pond in hopes that the familiar surroundings will comfort her foster mother, who's just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Also in tow is Grace's niece Daisy, whose errant mother Hannah just passed away. Grace gets a job as city clerk, but doesn't plan on staying in Dove Pond for more than a year. However, Sarah's books have other ideas...

I really enjoyed this heartwarming story of how three generations of strong women shake up a struggling small town. There's an appealingly sweet element of romance as Grace gets to know her neighbor, an emotionally and physically battered Iraq War veteran named Trav. There's humor, as Grace butts heads with residents who are too set in their ways to embrace any necessary changes to how their beloved Apple Festival is run. And of course, there's magic in the way that books find themselves in the hands of the right people at the right times.

I could really relate to Grace as she struggled to care for her foster mom, who's a native of Dove Pond. My grandma had vascular dementia, so I know how hard it is to watch as someone you love slips away little by little. The author mentions in her acknowledgments that she talked to caregivers, which made that aspect of the book more realistic.

At times the pace of the story was a bit slow, but otherwise I really enjoyed "The Book Charmer." It's a great read for anyone who believes in the transformative powers of love and literature.

Favorite quotes:

"That porch has been crooked as long as I've been breathing, and it hasn't fallen off the house yet. So long as you don't load it up with a hundred or more fat people, it should stand for another hundred and fifty years."

"Change never hurt nobody, child. You know that. It's those who can't or won't change who lose."

Sometimes the only way to begin a journey to the future was with a gentle shove from the past.

"... It hurts like the deepest cut to watch your parents fade away. One of my clients said it was like trying to hold sand in her fingers; no matter how tightly she gripped, she couldn't hold it in place."

Sarah's sisters were all still alive and well, so she couldn't understand how grief could sneak up on you, or what it felt like to go from being the oldest sister to not even being a sister at all. It was if a hole had been cut into every childhood memory Grace possessed.

"I just ordered takeout for dinner. That's one of my biggest skills as a homemaker, ordering out. I'm damn good at it."

"You don't need scores of friends. You need only one ... the right one."

Love can't cure a broken heart, but it can hold the two sides together while they heal.
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When i read this book description a couple of years ago i had to jump on requesting it. I know bad book reviewer this book came out in 2019. I am a firm believer that a book has a story that is meant for the right time, the right person and for that person to be ready for that story. This moment in 2020 when everything is crazy and we all feel so trapped was the moment for the book charmer to come to life.

I can see myself being Sarah Dove and arguing with the books, i can see myself as Grace trying to find roots in the life she been handed, i can see myself in Dove Pond with all it quaint shops. This book was like the Good Witch show on Hallmark channel just the right amount of magic, sweetness and good old fashion tears at some points. The author drops the perfect book references such as labeling the neighbor Khal Drogo (Game of Thrones).

I also decided this was perfect book for summer reading as i finished it just as it started to get melting hot here in my little town. If your a book lover, a lover of just a hint of magic in what could be a sweet romance or a family story then the Book Charmer is the book you need in your life. Sit it on your shelf and just wait for it to speak to you.
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Dove Pond is an extraordinary small town that's home to an extraordinary family, but this novel is really about another family. Planning on just a short stay, Grace, her aging foster mother who's showing signs of dementia, and her orphaned niece move to town. Grace tries to protect her heart and remain disconnected, but the Dove sisters and other neighbors are determined to work their way in -- except Trav, a physically and emotionally scarred Gulf War vet who lives next door. I'll look for more by this author. (Netgalley review)
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Do books really talk? This charming book is about a librarian who delivers books to those the book chooses. Did you every say, that is not the type of book I want to read yet it turns out to be exactly what you needed?
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Sarah is a small southern town librarian with a gift of magic.  Books talk to her!  Her goal is to save her town.  An array of characters that are well written and you will like .  Female friendships are explored.
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This book is a little more "out there" than other similar books I've read. You have your basic pieces of the puzzle--Grace is torn from her successful, comfortable life because she is forced to take care of her dead sister's child and their adopted mom. Her whole life is uprooted and in shambles. Further, instead of being able to stay in the city she was living in, she has to move everyone to her mom's hometown to provide her the support and memory care she needs as she ails. Of course there's a cute next door neighbor and possible romance and Grace is adamant that she won't end up loving the town, the people, or the neighbor.

Obbbbbviously all these things come true.

What makes this book different is that some of the townsfolk appear to be blessed with subtle magical powers. These talents aren't the main focus of the book and are almost taken for granted, which I enjoyed. Sarah Dove can hear books talk to her (and boy do they know a lot) and her sister has a way with plants, flower, etc. I welcomed the little touches of magic and levity.

Hawkins does a great job filling her book with adorable townspeople -- all invested in saving their small town and all hoping Grace can help them do it. Cute read!
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This one was a miss for me! I went into it with high hopes - it sounds like the perfect story for a book lover! I'm a huge Sarah Addison Allen fan and thought it might be similar to her books. I don't know if this is an issue of right book wrong time or simply right book, wrong reader. I know others who enjoyed it, but it just didn't quite deliver for me. I think the biggest issue is that I never felt the connection with the characters that I need in a book, and I never quite warmed to the MC. I can't say there was anything *wrong* with the book or the writing, but it simply wasn't compelling enough for me to keep going.

If the premise sounds promising to you, I'd encourage you to try it! Like I said, others enjoyed it!
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I am ashamed to admit I have had this on my NetGalley account for almost a year. The excerpt was intriguing but it seemed every time I started to read the book I lost interest. It is personal. I have a parent who is showing signs of dementia and I had a hard time reading about Mama G. Finally during this time of social distancing I opened up the book and was entranced. It was still hard to read regarding dementia but it actually helped me process what I am going through.

The book is filled with a little magic, a little romance and a lot of agapae love. You find yourself believing things will be alright in the grand scheme of things. Faith in yourself and others will get you through most anything.

I agree with a few other reviews I've read that the ending felt rushed but that was ok. It is kind of like real life in that we have months that are filled to capacity with things and other months that are not.

I am ready to read the next book in the series which I believe may be coming out this summer.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Gallery Books, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
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Charmer....well, yes. Charming is the best word I can think of to describe this quaint, feel-good book. The characters and the town immediately drew me in. Oh I love the idea of books talking to us, reaching out to us to let us know where they belong and who should read them. The entire town was fun and the whole book sort of reminded me of Big Stone Gap, which I am a huge fan of.
Also, Trav deserves all the reader heart eyes.
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I read this charming book a while back, but my notes got lost in a pile of papers. The book is too good not to share.
Dove Pond has always been a quirky little place to live. Sarah Dove, the librarian, has a gift: books whisper to her. They might whisper to her that a particular person should be encouraged to read a particular book. Lately the books have been whispering about Grace Wheeler, who has recently moved to town with her aunt and her late sister’s teenage daughter.
For some reason, the books are telling Sarah that Grace may be the person the town needs to help rescue Dove Pond. Grace feels like she has enough on her plate. She has given up a great job to move her aunt, who is starting to suffer from dementia back to familiar territory, and struggling to connect with her niece.
I love this sweet story and all of the characters in it.
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The Book Charmer is about the ultimate book lover. Sarah Dove is a librarian with a gift, she can talk to books. Grace grew up in foster care. When Grace moves to Dove Pond her story begins to intertwine with Sarah's. This was a magical story about saving a small town.
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I’ve checked this book out on several occasions and I can’t seem to start it. The plot sounds amazing, but every time I read the first few pages it just seems to fall flat to me. I do not know if this is just because I am not in the mind space for women’s lit when I’ve been reading fantasy or if it is the book itself. I’ll give it six month to a year and try to pick this book up again. Hopefully next time it’s just me and I can get through it. If/when my opinion changes I will update my review on goodreads.
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*Thank you to Karen Hawkins, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

What a fantastic book! As a bookworm, one of my biggest dreams would be for books to be able to speak to get into the hands of the person who needs them most. Hawkins weaves a brilliant tale full of family, pain, friendship, and a town on the edge of obscurity. I found myself in the library with Sarah waiting on the books to speak, with Grace as she moves to a new town, with the mayor who only wants to fish, with Trav who has his own demons, and with Daisy who seems to be 8 going on 18. This would make an excellent feel good read, especially for the beach!
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As posted on Goodreads...I'm still kind of unsure about this because I don't remember ever being approved for this ARC last year, yet it's in my "archived" section and I had never given feedback...all I can think is this book chose ME, just as Sarah's books choose their readers.  And I'm okay with that type of magic...

This book was absolutely adorable! I don’t know how I ended up with it on hold through the library. I even tried a couple times to cancel it and it never worked. Even the librarian couldn’t help me cancel it. It was on hold for 7 months and when it finally came available I gave it a listen. So apparently this book chose me and I’m so glad it did! I can’t wait for the next one! These characters are so lovable and I want to go to Dove Pond!!!
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The Book Charmer is certain to tick all of the boxes for those who enjoy women's fiction with a bit of heft.  The story takes place in Dove Pond, a small town in North Carolina that has some charming shops and charming people.  The Book Charmer herself is Sarah Dove.  Books speak to her and have ever since she was little.  Books let her know who should read them; although it may not initially make sense to the recipient, over time it will. 

To this community come Grace, Mama G and Daisy.  They all have back stories that are explored.  Grace was a foster child, Mama G cared for her and Daisy is the child of Grace's deceased sister.  Mama G suffers from Alzheimer's; the book shows some of her struggles and the sadness and difficulties for those who are affected by it. 

Also living in Dove Pond is Travis who has his own ghosts and troubles.  He is a war veteran who is trying to move on with his life.  There are other characters for the reader to meet as well.  Their stories intersect over the course of the story. 

I enjoyed this title with its mix of a little magical realism, realism, love stories, friendships and time spent with characters whom I enjoyed knowing.  If there were a real Dove Pond, I would surely love to visit there.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
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It was inevitable that I'd read this book. A book seemingly about books, a pretty cover, and a woman moving to a small town after experiencing hardship? That ticks all my boxes. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I feel like the title was a bit misleading, as the story wasn't so much about "the book charmer" as it was about Grace, the woman who moves to Dove Pond. I feel like this would be a really nice palette cleanser after reading the mysteries and thrillers that seem to top all of our TBRs during October and fall in general.⁣
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this review copy of The Book Charmer. 
This is a sweet little slice of life small town story that includes the long time residents of Dove Pond and a new family that joins them. 
Grace is trying to keep her family together after her sister dies and leaves her to care for her ailing adoptive mother her niece Daisy. As they navigate their new lives in Dove Pond they have to learn to trust the new people they meet and help rejuvenate the town after it suffers from a shrinking tax base and an indifferent Mayor. 
This was a light story that makes a nice break in between other books. I found I was more interested in some of the other characters than Grace. I found her needlessly chilly and off-putting for most of the book. 
I look forward to reading more Dove Pond stories.
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