The Book Charmer is a charming and magical story of a town in trouble, two very strong women determined to save it, and maybe a bit of magic thrown in to make the perfect tale.
Dove Pond is a small town on the verge of financial disaster. The Dove family has always been lucky. They all have their own talents and Sarah’s is books. What better job for her to have than a librarian?! Sarah’s gift is knowing which person needs which book. To be fair the books tell her who needs what and she doesn’t argue with them. Most of them anyway.
When Grace arrives to take over the town clerk’s job and settle Momma G and eight-year-old Daisy, in Momma G’s hometown, she immediately gets off on the wrong foot. Hurting from the loss of her job, her sister and now Momma G’s worsening dementia, Grace comes off as snooty and judgy. Both cover a lot of uncertainty and fear.
As Grace and the town get to know each other better she feels as if she may have found the family she never had. But is she still leaving when her year is up?
This was so beautifully written. The characters were quirky and very relatable. I hope we see more of them.
Very Well Done!
NetGalley/ July 30th, 2019 by Gallery Books
Natalie has left behind the Pacific Northwest and an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer, and fled to the Big Apple! She is an artist and between struggling to pay her rent, her tuition, and food, she isn’t left with much.
While her roommates’ plot to get her out of the apartment due to her constant lateness with the bills as well as bringing home guys. She is stretched as tight as she can be. When her bar job ends she is desperate to stay in school and stay in New York.
Her art school friends have lots of suggestions, but Nat needs money now. When she hears about Sugar Babies, she loathes having to go there, but go there she does.
All she has to do is hang out for a dinner or two and she gets paid. A part of her feels like a whore but the part that wants to have nice things and stay in New York wins over.
And that was where it went awry. The girl is 21. And not a big city girl. She talks so formally and the obsession comes so fast that it left me wondering if there was a deadline somewhere. In the end, they were all despicable people.
NetGalley/ July 30th, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press
In this game, even winning can be deadly…
Amy Whey with her perfect husband, great step-daughter and baby Oliver, has a life she loves. A life she created. She has great friends, a job she loves teaching scuba lessons and a book club of friends. But her best friend is Char. They are a perfect little group of ordinary women.
Life is good until one day there is a new woman on the block. A woman with a fancy red sports car and a teenaged son. Angelica Roux. Even her name sounds seductive. When she insinuates herself into their lives by showing up at their book club, Amy’s internal alarm system is going off. This woman is dangerous. Instead of reading the book, she suggests a game of Never Have I Ever and Amy knows this creature knows her deepest, ugliest secret. One that could ruin everything she has built and cost her everyone in her life.
When Roux gets Amy alone she confirms Amy’s fears. But for the paltry sum of a quarter of a million dollars, Roux will quietly be on her way. Amy has no intention of giving Roux anything. And so begins Amy’s plan to find out just who Roux is and how she even knows about Amy. In a race against the clock, she takes a big gamble and tries to beat Roux at her own game.
This was a twisty one! Secrets, Lies, Betrayals, the sins of our youth coming back to haunt us. The closer I got to the end, the faster I read. She did what??? He’s who??? Oh my gosh!
NetGalley/ July 30, 2019 William Morrow
Translated by Simon Bruni
From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.
The day Nana Reja found a tiny baby under a bridge, wrapped in a blanket of bees, life in their small village in Mexico changed. Baby Simonopio had been kissed by the devil some said. With his deformed mouth, there are some that believe he is the devil. But not the Morales family. They have adopted Nana Reja and Simonopio and love them both deeply.
As he grows he wanders the fields with his swarm of bees. Listening to what they tell him. It seems his purpose is to watch over the family and protect them with the visions he has.
In the middle of the Mexican Revolution and the 1918 flu outbreak, the Morales family survives and with the help of Simonopio, they thrive. Is it magic? Is it love and faith?
Whichever it is there is always someone waiting to destroy what they do not understand and this evil could destroy an entire family.
If this book was this beautiful and moving after the translation, I can only imagine what it feels like in its native tongue.
It was a pleasure to read and I’m sure I will read it again!
From the author of the acclaimed, The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification—a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.
It’s 1961 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The neighborhood of Brooklyn is almost entirely made up of black families and businesses. While there are a lot of run down and shabby homes and storefronts, Loraylee Hawkins lives in a nice home with her grandmother, her uncle and her son, Hawk. She works a full-time job and cares for her grandmother and her son.
Loarylee works at a cafeteria and is involved with her boss. A white man. All very secret, after all this is the South in the early ’60s.
The city of Charlotte has declared Brooklyn a blight on the city and has decided to do some gentrification. Which we all know means bulldozing every house and business and putting in buildings no one can afford. This is their home. They were born here and many died here. But now even the graveyard is being removed in the name of progress.
This is a very familiar story for those of us raised in the deep south. The strength of the characters of this cast was extraordinary. This was a community that supported each other, a family that stood their ground and fought for a better life and for respect.
I am so glad I read this one and I highly recommend it!
La Fete Nationale! Liberte’, equalite’, fraternite’. Happy Bastille Day! Vive la France!
Cassie is happy. She is one of the only female firefighters in her Austin department. She’s so good at her job she’s about to receive an award for Valor when we first meet her. She loves her job and her team. Cassie is gobsmacked when the presenter isn’t the Mayor but a Councilman. An enemy from high school. Let’s just say he leaves the stage on a stretcher and Cassie may not be making Lieutenant or even have a job left.
Cassie’s mother left her and her father when Cassie was 16 and she isn’t over it or anything else. So when out of the blue she receives a call from Diana, her mother, asking her to move to the Boston area and stay with her for a year while she is having a bit of a problem with her eye.
Reminding herself it is only temporary she heads out knowing that she will have a job with a much smaller and older station with guys she knows don’t want a woman in their boys’ club. But she needs to stay away from Austin and let the dust settle.
Before leaving Austin her Captain had told her to not make waves and DO. NOT. Date. Firemen. Not a problem for Cassie as she doesn’t even believe in love and never dates. The hazing and lack of support at the station is compounded with a new guy who on day one turns her life upside down!
I loved this story. Every character was so well done. This was a tale of perspective, forgiveness, and the complicated love of family. I was so moved by the courage Cassie and her mother had.
Very Well Done!
NetGalley/ August 13th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press