The Book Charmer (Dove Pond, #1)
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.

The Book Charmer (Dove Pond, #1) Details

TitleThe Book Charmer (Dove Pond, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781982105549
Rating
GenreFiction, Writing, Books About Books, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Contemporary

The Book Charmer (Dove Pond, #1) Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars "But that's the beauty of a book. It can take you places you can't visit on your own, lets you meet people and see things you can't in real life."Sarah Dove has a gift (all of the Dove sisters do!). Books speak to her, they tell her who needs to read them, they don't tell her why, but they are never wrong. As the town librarian, she places books and readers together. Then one day a book tells her about the arrival of Grace Wheeler. The books whisper to Sarah that Grace will be the one 4.5 Stars "But that's the beauty of a book. It can take you places you can't visit on your own, lets you meet people and see things you can't in real life."Sarah Dove has a gift (all of the Dove sisters do!). Books speak to her, they tell her who needs to read them, they don't tell her why, but they are never wrong. As the town librarian, she places books and readers together. Then one day a book tells her about the arrival of Grace Wheeler. The books whisper to Sarah that Grace will be the one to save the town and return it to its former glory.Grace Wheeler and her sister Hannah bounced from foster home to foster home until they were placed with Mama G. There they found a home and Grace discovered the joy of reading and a connection with Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Now an adult, Grace has quit her job and moved to Mama G's hometown of Dove Pond to care for Mama G and her niece. Both who desperately need her. Grace has no intentions of making this town her own. She plans to stay a short time before heading back to the city. But the books, Sarah and the townspeople have other plans.I did not want to put this book down (so I didn't). It had so many things going for it: a librarian who found the perfect books for each reader (actually the books choose the readers), a strong female lead who was strong and vulnerable at the same time, Mama G (man, did she have me crying), a wounded vet, a little magical realism and likable (even lovable) characters. This is the first in the series so here I am doing a happy dance. This was the perfect summer read for me. At times light and fun, other times it touches on serious issues - PTSD, Alzheimer’s, and grief to name a few. But it also touches on finding a family, being a friend, love, human connections, being part of a community, starting over, taking chances and letting people in. I didn't want to put this book down. I was absorbed in the story and even though it is a little predictable it did not affect my enjoyment of the book in any way. The Book is called “The Book Charmer” which is Sarah, but the book is more about Grace and her family. I have a strong feeling that Sarah will be the focus of the next book (fingers crossed). I wanted a little more at the end. It did feel as if the book ended a little abruptly but there was an epilogue which tied some things up. There will be more books in the series so I know there will be more to come with the quirky enjoyable characters.*Plus, it has a beautiful cover!Thank you to Gallery Pocket Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
    more
  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 magical ⭐S! Sarah Dove is the librarian of Dove Pond, but she is no ordinary librarian. Books are more than just objects to her: they live, breathe, and sometimes they even speak. Her gift is to place each book in the hands of the correct reader. But, recently they have been whispering about the arrival of Grace Wheeler. If the books are right, (and they haven’t been wrong yet!) Grace, the new town clerk will be the savior of this financially strapped, dying town. But, Grace only plans to st 4.5 magical ⭐️S! Sarah Dove is the librarian of Dove Pond, but she is no ordinary librarian. Books are more than just objects to her: they live, breathe, and sometimes they even speak. Her gift is to place each book in the hands of the correct reader. But, recently they have been whispering about the arrival of Grace Wheeler. If the books are right, (and they haven’t been wrong yet!) Grace, the new town clerk will be the savior of this financially strapped, dying town. But, Grace only plans to stay one year, and she doesn’t have room on her plate for any more demands on her time. She has arrived with her foster mom, Mamma G, who is suffering from dementia, and her niece, Daisy, who has just lost her own mom, and is now being raised by her Aunt Grace. The book opens with a prologue, one chapter introducing you to Sarah Dove and her gift-(all the Dove Sisters have one) and one chapter introducing you to how Grace and her sister Hannah, come to live with Mamma G.The story then alternates between the point of views of Grace, (who is the actual main character of this book), Sarah, (my favorite chapters!) and Trav, the next door neighbor who suffers from PTSD, and needs some healing of his own. You know the kind of book that makes you sad when it ends, because you don’t want to say goodbye to the characters? This is one of those books. The kind that makes you wish you lived in this town, and were blessed to have these people in your life. I wanted to know more about how Mamma G broke through to Grace and Hannah when they came to live with her. I want more of Sarah Dove. And, I want to know what happens in the next chapters of all of their lives! Fortunately, this is just book one in the Dove Pond series, so this isn’t Goodbye...it’s just goodbye for now! Favorite quote: “Love can’t cure a broken heart, but it can hold the two sides together while they heal” ❤️Hurry up and write the next installment, Ms. Hawkins! I am watching for its release! Thank You to NetGalley, Gallery, Pocket books and Karen Hawkins for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review!Recommended for you if you love books with quaint towns, and charming characters who make you smile and cry-this installment will be available to read on July 30, 2019!
    more
  • ☕️Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    New York Times, Best-Selling Author, Susan Anderson called The Book Charmer, “A mesmerizing fusion of the mystical and the everyday” and I think she sums it up perfectly. I completely slipped into the everyday affairs of this quaint town and its struggles as I embraced the mystical qualities of the Dove’s and community.Our story begins when we meet the seventh daughter of the Dove family, Sarah Dove. Legend has it that good things happen to the town of Dove Pond when the seventh daughter is born New York Times, Best-Selling Author, Susan Anderson called The Book Charmer, “A mesmerizing fusion of the mystical and the everyday” and I think she sums it up perfectly. I completely slipped into the everyday affairs of this quaint town and its struggles as I embraced the mystical qualities of the Dove’s and community.Our story begins when we meet the seventh daughter of the Dove family, Sarah Dove. Legend has it that good things happen to the town of Dove Pond when the seventh daughter is born. Sarah is a bookworm, and not just any bookworm, for in her seventh year, the books speak to her. Not out loud, but they whisper to her and because of this she knows exactly what book each person in town needs and when they need it. The town desperately needs the miracle promised with the seventh daughter and the signs of its approach are appearing. Sarah just doesn’t know what she is supposed to do. I felt for Sarah; she feels the weight of her responsibility and doesn’t want to fail.Grace Wheeler arrives in town with his deceased sister’s daughter and her aging mother who is suffering from dementia. She has accepted the town clerk job because it offers flexible hours and a home to go with it. For her it’s a temporary fix. I love when life or perhaps fate has other plans.The tale that unfolds was wonderful and I lost myself in this small southern town. I laughed, cried and wanted to stay. I thought at first the book would focus mostly on Sarah, but it was truly Grace’s story and those within her circle. We get romance, address dementia, PTSD, acceptance, and see a family being built and taking root. Throughout the story Hawkins weaves magical realism and books….. wonderful books!This is one of those stories that wrap you up in its warm magical embrace and transports you. For a spell I was a member of Dove Pond and experienced all the emotions of these characters and shared in the events that unfolded. I absolutely love when that happens. I cannot recommend The Book Charmer enough and hope you will add it to your summer reading list. From the secondary characters to the towns comings and goings I felt like I was right there. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
    more
  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    This was the best magical escape I could have asked for!! I just LOVED this book!Have you ever read a book and was so completely sad that you finished the last page? Well.. this was that for me! I was savoring every moment and didn't want it to end!I would love to live in this special town of Dove Pond. Sarah Dove is the librarian for Dove Pond and what a librarian she is. She lives, breathes, and even talks to the books. Her wonderful gift is to place each book into the hands of the correct rea This was the best magical escape I could have asked for!! I just LOVED this book!Have you ever read a book and was so completely sad that you finished the last page? Well.. this was that for me! I was savoring every moment and didn't want it to end!I would love to live in this special town of Dove Pond. Sarah Dove is the librarian for Dove Pond and what a librarian she is. She lives, breathes, and even talks to the books. Her wonderful gift is to place each book into the hands of the correct reader. A new fellow traveler has come to the town of Dove Pond named Grace Wheeler. She has become the talk of the town and according to the books of this town... Grace is to be the savior of this dying town. Grace has her hands full... she is taking care of her foster mom who is suffering from dementia and her niece Daisy who just lost her mom.. who is being taken care of by Grace now. The story alternates between the POV's of Grace, Sarah, and Trav (the next door neighbor who suffers from PTSD). Oh my goodness my friends this book was so beautiful and I fell in love with this entire town and the amazing people in it!!I couldn't get enough of Dove Pond... I can't wait to see where the author brings us with the next in the series!!!This is a must read and one of my favorite reads so far this year!!!Absolutely love love love!!4.5 stars!Thank you so much to Netgalley and Gallery Pocket Books for the advanced arc in exchange for an honest review.Publication date: 7/30/19Published to GR: 7/23/19
    more
  • Sherwood Smith
    January 1, 1970
    A cozy small town book with a hint of magic, this was a lovely spring read (and will be an equally lovely summer read).Though titled The Book Charmer, Sarah, the librarian with whom books speaks is not really the main character. She's important to the story, but she takes second seat to Grace, who has the main story arc.It begins with both girls when young, setting their background, then shifts to the present day when go-getter Grace, who has never had a friend, finds herself the guardian not on A cozy small town book with a hint of magic, this was a lovely spring read (and will be an equally lovely summer read).Though titled The Book Charmer, Sarah, the librarian with whom books speaks is not really the main character. She's important to the story, but she takes second seat to Grace, who has the main story arc.It begins with both girls when young, setting their background, then shifts to the present day when go-getter Grace, who has never had a friend, finds herself the guardian not only of her sister's abandoned child, but the foster mom who finally gave her a sense of stability. Only her beloved Mama G is sinking slowly into the twilight world of dementia.This was a tad on the nose for me (currently dealing with two elders with dementia) but for the most part the handling was sensitively done. (view spoiler)[At one point it looked like Hawkins was going to descend into the mawkish sentiment of bad cancer stories, in which the character gets the magic of "specialness" through their disease) but she backed off that. (hide spoiler)]The characters are well drawn, especially the older women. Hawkins is especially good with giving these women agency, even Mama G in her lucid moments.Grace is quite well done, and though Sarah's story is left for future volumes, Grace's comes to a satisfying resolution, leaving the reader wanting to know more about the town and its serious dilemma, and the other characters.Copy courtesy of NetGalley
    more
  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    There is warmhearted 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 There is warmhearted 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!Series: Dove Pond - Book 1Publisher: Gallery Books (July 30, 2019)Publication Date: July 30, 2019Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy/FantasyPrint Length: 368 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
    more
  • Nicole (Read Eat Sleep Repeat)
    January 1, 1970
    The Book Charmer was aptly named as it was, in fact, quite charming.The combination of a small town setting, quirky characters, and a slightly magical quality come together nicely in this story. Its two main characters are Sarah, the town librarian to whom books speak, and Grace, who moves to Dove Pond with her ailing foster mother and niece. Although the book is titled after Sarah, Grace’s story is the main focus. That being said, these two characters foil each other as they get to know each ot The Book Charmer was aptly named as it was, in fact, quite charming.The combination of a small town setting, quirky characters, and a slightly magical quality come together nicely in this story. Its two main characters are Sarah, the town librarian to whom books speak, and Grace, who moves to Dove Pond with her ailing foster mother and niece. Although the book is titled after Sarah, Grace’s story is the main focus. That being said, these two characters foil each other as they get to know each other and their relationship grows.Where this book shines is in its exploration of the characters and its focus on family and friendships. Despite the fantastical element of books being able to speak to someone, the characters felt realistic and well rounded, making them interesting to spend time with. The fact that this is also a book about books – but not from your typical angle – really worked for me as well. As much as I enjoyed the writing, story, and characters, it was this element that took it up to a full five for me. I might consider picking up future books in this series but realize that without the bookishness, they may miss the mark for me.I had a feeling upon reading the first sentence of The Book Charmer that it would become a fast favorite, and each page only served to confirm that feeling. This is probably not a book for everyone but if it sounds like something you’d enjoy I definitely recommend giving it a chance!*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    If a book were to speak to you -- which one would it be? What would its message be? In this new novel, Sarah hears books speaking to her. They choose their next reader and can be quite stubborn. This touch of magic realism enhances the narrative in this sweetly Southern small-town story. I was charmed by both Sarah Dove and Grace Wheeler in this new novel. Will the Dove Pond Social Committee be able to revive the town and save it from extinction? I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!Thank If a book were to speak to you -- which one would it be? What would its message be? In this new novel, Sarah hears books speaking to her. They choose their next reader and can be quite stubborn. This touch of magic realism enhances the narrative in this sweetly Southern small-town story. I was charmed by both Sarah Dove and Grace Wheeler in this new novel. Will the Dove Pond Social Committee be able to revive the town and save it from extinction? I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Ever since Sarah was seven years old, she's been able to hear books talk, so it's fitting that she works as a librarian in the small town of Dover Pond, North Carolina where she grew up. "Sarah Dove is a book charmer... she knows what book everyone should have."Lately, however, the books have been talking about newcomer Grace. Why are the books so interested in Grace, you ask, and what else do they have to say? Read this charming novel to find out! This magical story cast a spell on me from the Ever since Sarah was seven years old, she's been able to hear books talk, so it's fitting that she works as a librarian in the small town of Dover Pond, North Carolina where she grew up. "Sarah Dove is a book charmer... she knows what book everyone should have."Lately, however, the books have been talking about newcomer Grace. Why are the books so interested in Grace, you ask, and what else do they have to say? Read this charming novel to find out! This magical story cast a spell on me from the very first pages and didn't let go. I couldn't wait to find out more about the residents of the small town, many of whom have magical abilities, and it makes my heart so happy that this is the first in an all new series. In fact, I loved it so much that I read Love in the Afternoon (4 stars, and I hardly ever give more than 3 stars to a novella), #1.5 in the series, immediately following this one. And, hello, there are also Game of Throne references! If you loved this one as much as I did, then I would highly recommend Midnight at the Blackbird Café (5 stars) by Heather Webber!Lastly, here are some more quotes I loved:"It's sad, but life is not fair. I sometimes think it was never supposed to be. Life is made up of moments, good and bad. But while you don't get to pick all the moments, you do get to pick which ones you cling to.""That's the beauty of a book. It can take you places you can't visit on your own, lets you meet people and see things you can't in real life.""Love can't cure a broken heart, but it can hold the two sides together while they heal."Location: Dove Pond, North CarolinaI received an advance copy from BookishFirst. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Karen Hayes
    January 1, 1970
    A light, charming read for fans of Sarah Addison Allen - I wavered between 3 and 4 stars because despite the book being named for her, our librarian book whisperer is only a minor character in the story, which is clearly the set-up for a town-wide series. Also, the epilogue read like the author was told she'd hit her limit with about 3 or 4 chapters left in her outline. Despite those flaws, I really enjoyed the book and will definitely pick up future installments.
    more
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    I will miss Dove Pond and all of my new friends terribly. This book has all of my favorite things:magic, books, a small town, romance, friendship, family drama, sisters, women in leadership positions, cats, and books —- wait, did I say that twice? The blurb on this book mentions Sarah Addison Allen and Practical Magic, and that’s spot on. The dialogue is so believable, it feels like eavesdropping. This poet, gooey warm cookie of a book had better have a sequel.
    more
  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 magical ⭐S! Sarah Dove is the librarian of Dove Pond, but she is no ordinary librarian. Books are more than just objects to her: they live, breathe, and sometimes they even speak. Her gift is to place each book in the hands of the correct reader. But, recently they have been whispering about the arrival of Grace Wheeler. If the books are right, (and they haven’t been wrong yet!) Grace, the new town clerk will be the savior of this financially strapped, dying town. But, Grace only plans to st 4.5 magical ⭐️S! Sarah Dove is the librarian of Dove Pond, but she is no ordinary librarian. Books are more than just objects to her: they live, breathe, and sometimes they even speak. Her gift is to place each book in the hands of the correct reader. But, recently they have been whispering about the arrival of Grace Wheeler. If the books are right, (and they haven’t been wrong yet!) Grace, the new town clerk will be the savior of this financially strapped, dying town. But, Grace only plans to stay one year, and she doesn’t have room on her plate for any more demands on her time. She has arrived with her foster mom, Mamma G, who is suffering from dementia, and her niece, Daisy, who has just lost her own mom, and is now being raised by her Aunt Grace. The book opens with a prologue, one chapter introducing you to Sarah Dove and her gift-(all the Dove Sisters have one) and one chapter introducing you to how Grace and her sister Hannah, come to live with Mamma G.The story then alternates between the point of views of Grace, (who is the actual main character of this book), Sarah, (my favorite chapters!) and Trav, the next door neighbor who suffers from PTSD, and needs some healing of his own. You know the kind of book that makes you sad when it ends, because you don’t want to say goodbye to the characters? This is one of those books. The kind that makes you wish you lived in this town, and were blessed to have these people in your life. I wanted to know more about how Mamma G broke through to Grace and Hannah when they came to live with her. I want more of Sarah Dove. And, I want to know what happens in the next chapters of all of their lives! Fortunately, this is just book one in the Dove Pond series, so this isn’t Goodbye...it’s just goodbye for now! Favorite quote: “Love can’t cure a broken heart, but it can hold the two sides together while they heal” ❤️Hurry up and write the next installment, Ms. Hawkins! I am watching for its release! Recommended for you if you love books with quaint towns, and charming characters who make you smile and cry-this installment will be available to read on July 30, 2019!
    more
  • Jypsy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 stars rounded up! A lovely story about the residents of a small NC town named Dove Pond, which is struggling to survive in these modern times. Among the townspeople is Sarah Dove, who is the last of seven sisters which is considered to be a lucky sign. Can she save the town? She is the librarian but everyone knows she is also a book charmer. What is that, you ask? Books speak to her so she knows which book a person needs, although maybe not just WHY they need it! To this town comes Grace Wh *4.5 stars rounded up! A lovely story about the residents of a small NC town named Dove Pond, which is struggling to survive in these modern times. Among the townspeople is Sarah Dove, who is the last of seven sisters which is considered to be a lucky sign. Can she save the town? She is the librarian but everyone knows she is also a book charmer. What is that, you ask? Books speak to her so she knows which book a person needs, although maybe not just WHY they need it! To this town comes Grace Wheeler with her elderly foster mother, Mama G, and her orphaned niece, Daisy. Mama G is suffering from Alzheimers and Grace hopes that returning to Dove Pond where she once lived will help the woman retain her memories. Grace takes a job as town clerk but is determined to move back to Charlotte in a year and resume her professional life. The books are telling Sarah that Grace can save their town but she must somehow be talked into staying there...forever! The characters of this town are charming and delightful! I only wish that people everywhere were this helpful and welcoming. I am reminded a bit of Jan Karon's Mitford series with a little magical realism thrown in! I admit to being attracted to almost any novel with the word 'book' in the title. This month alone I've read two other such books: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Last Book Party. I've enjoyed them all!I received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity to meet the people of Dove Pond!
    more
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Every so often I need to take a break from my usual genre; thriller, mystery, adventure, etc. and just find something that is a little more easy going and feel good. I hit the jackpot with this delightful book set in a small southern town with an eclectic group of characters and enough love to go around. Being a former librarian I loved the fact that the books actually talked to her and not while she was reading them. You have to read the book to find out what I mean. A small town, a sense of co Every so often I need to take a break from my usual genre; thriller, mystery, adventure, etc. and just find something that is a little more easy going and feel good. I hit the jackpot with this delightful book set in a small southern town with an eclectic group of characters and enough love to go around. Being a former librarian I loved the fact that the books actually talked to her and not while she was reading them. You have to read the book to find out what I mean. A small town, a sense of community and good characters....you need to add this one to your wish list.
    more
  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Upping to 3.5 stars. Thank you to Bookishfirst and Gallery publisher for this ARC. What a wonderful magical book not only about books but about a small town and all their residents who are family, one way or another, through birth or just friends who are like family. I love how the characters all intertwine with each other and how Grace, her niece and her foster mother Mama G eventually fall in love with this small town though she knows she doesn't want to stay and move back to the big city of C Upping to 3.5 stars. Thank you to Bookishfirst and Gallery publisher for this ARC. What a wonderful magical book not only about books but about a small town and all their residents who are family, one way or another, through birth or just friends who are like family. I love how the characters all intertwine with each other and how Grace, her niece and her foster mother Mama G eventually fall in love with this small town though she knows she doesn't want to stay and move back to the big city of Charlotte, NC. They move to Mama's G's cousins house after Mama G is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and feel that she would be more comfortable in a town she loved growing up in. It is also about Sarah Dove, the town's librarian and how books speak to her and how she knows what books to give to people needing them, which to me is the magical part. Grace doesn't want anything to do with her since she's not the type to make friends. I see that this is the first book of the series. I can't find the 2nd book yet so maybe the author is planning or in the writing stage of it. I would definitely read the sequel.
    more
  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Bookish and the publisher for an advanced reader copy of this book.I chose this book based on the excerpt that Bookish allowed me to read. I was immediately drawn in to a story about two little girls, one of whom could communicate with books and the other who was a misunderstood foster child taken in by a fantastic foster mother. However, the book only gives one chapter each to these little girls and then moves into the future, where everyone's grown up and living in Dove Pond. This Thank you to Bookish and the publisher for an advanced reader copy of this book.I chose this book based on the excerpt that Bookish allowed me to read. I was immediately drawn in to a story about two little girls, one of whom could communicate with books and the other who was a misunderstood foster child taken in by a fantastic foster mother. However, the book only gives one chapter each to these little girls and then moves into the future, where everyone's grown up and living in Dove Pond. This is another loveable curmudgeon tale, where the town comes together to make the grinch's heart grow three sizes. It includes themes of raising children while taking care of parents with dementia, along with small town life. The only difference is that there’s a bit of magic. Lots of things went unexplained, but since this is marked as #1, it appears that those things were set up for continuation in a later book. The middle of this book was a little long, and the dialogue was a bit tedious. It seemed like some things were repeated, and that may be edited down in the final version. Overall, it’s a fine book if you’re looking for something light. I can't quite put it in the heartwarming category though because I'm not sure I connected enough with the curmudgeon to be excited about her turnaround.
    more
  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really great read. It was heartwarming and I really enjoyed the characters. Sarah Dove hears books. She is from one of the founding families in Dove Pond. One book in particular wants her to save the town. The only problem is that Sarah has no idea how to do that. Grace is another important character to this story. She is a foster kid who has had a hard life. Now she is facing several challenges in her life including taking care of her niece and her adopted mother who now has Alzheime This was a really great read. It was heartwarming and I really enjoyed the characters. Sarah Dove hears books. She is from one of the founding families in Dove Pond. One book in particular wants her to save the town. The only problem is that Sarah has no idea how to do that. Grace is another important character to this story. She is a foster kid who has had a hard life. Now she is facing several challenges in her life including taking care of her niece and her adopted mother who now has Alzheimer's. The characters in this novel really envelop you in their lives. I wanted to know what would happen with Grace and her neighbor. Would Sarah get her way in her quest to save the town? This is the perfect beach read, it is light but you really feel yourself drawn to this story.
    more
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review.What a sweet beginning for a heartwarming series for author Karen Hawkins. I loved the blooming friendship between Grace and Sarah. Their differences seemed to complement one another. And having the special gift of choosing the perfect book that "speak" to her for each person that needs it the most, Sarah was able to help Grace find her true purpose for being in the town.I also loved the developing romanc Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review.What a sweet beginning for a heartwarming series for author Karen Hawkins. I loved the blooming friendship between Grace and Sarah. Their differences seemed to complement one another. And having the special gift of choosing the perfect book that "speak" to her for each person that needs it the most, Sarah was able to help Grace find her true purpose for being in the town.I also loved the developing romance between Trav and Grace and the gentle way he interacts with Grace's foster mom, Mama Giano.All made for a heartwarming read!! Can't wait to read the rest of the series!!
    more
  • Kimberly Mussell
    January 1, 1970
    What a heartwarming story! I loved the character of Grace and adored Sarah!!I know this is going to be a series, and I can't wait! I need to know about the book!!! This is what I like to call a quick, feel good read. Thank you NetGalley!!
  • LibraryLaur
    January 1, 1970
    Simply charming! I want to move to Dove Pond.My only quibble would be that, with the title character being a librarian, we sure didn't get to spend much time in the library!*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit that I requested Karen Hawkins’ latest novel The Book Charmer from Netgalley solely based on the beautiful cover and the fact that it was clearly a book about books. That combination was irresistible to me, even without having read the synopsis. Thankfully once I settled down and actually read the synopsis, I knew my instinct to select this book was a good one as it’s marketed as a book perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic and Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite au I have to admit that I requested Karen Hawkins’ latest novel The Book Charmer from Netgalley solely based on the beautiful cover and the fact that it was clearly a book about books. That combination was irresistible to me, even without having read the synopsis. Thankfully once I settled down and actually read the synopsis, I knew my instinct to select this book was a good one as it’s marketed as a book perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic and Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors.I found The Book Charmer to be a truly magical read in every sense of the word, and although I feel like I could ramble about this book for days, I’m just going to share a few of the things I enjoyed most.1. Dove Pond. I adore books that are set in small towns and the town of Dove Pond stole my heart right away. It’s a quaint little southern town located in North Carolina. It’s one of those little towns where all the residents know each other and make it their business to know about everyone new who comes to their town. They may seem like busybodies on the surface, but the residents will have your back in a heartbeat if you find yourself in trouble. And yes, the town has its fair share of quirky characters which sometimes made me chuckle, but the sense of community in Dove Pond was overall just truly heartwarming. It’s like one big happy family.2. Grace Wheeler. The Book Charmer features fiercely independent women as its protagonists and Grace Wheeler is one of them. Grace has moved to Dove Pond and is just taking things day by day, trying to adjust to recent changes in her life that have left her as her niece Daisy’s primary caregiver and in a similar role for her foster mother, Mama G., who is suffering from dementia. The only reason Grace is in Dove Pond is because it’s where Mama G. grew up and doctors have told her that a familiar environment would help Mama G. cope with her deteriorating memories. I loved Grace right away because of her determination to put her family first at all costs and because of her sense of independence. She is determined to leave Dove Pond as soon as she possibly can and has no interest in putting down permanent roots there, including making friends. She just simply doesn’t have the time or energy to devote to that.(As a side note, I also really appreciated how Hawkins handled writing about someone who is experiencing dementia – how it impacts them and how it impacts everyone around them. As someone who has a family member who is currently suffering from dementia, I found myself nodding my head at what was going on with Mama G. throughout the book. Hawkins handles this subject matter delicately and accurately).3. Sarah Dove. While Grace is doggedly determined to leave Dove Pond as soon as possible, equally stubborn Dove Pond resident, Sarah Dove, has other ideas. Sarah is the town librarian, which of course endeared her to me right away, because…books! But I also adored Sarah because she was just so adorably quirky. She also has a special gift when it comes to books – I don’t want to say too much about it, but if you’re in Dove Pond and Sarah gives you a book, it’s definitely in your best interest to take it, whether you think you want to read it or not! Sarah also has a gift when it comes to knowing what Dove Pond needs and as soon as she meets Grace, she decides Dove Pond needs Grace. Sarah therefore makes it her mission to make Grace fall in love with the town and its residents.4. Relationships. At its heart, The Book Charmer is a book about relationships. It has a strong focus on family, especially found families, and on the importance of friendships (whether you’re looking for them or not). And yes, for all of the romance fans out there, there is a hint of a romance in the book as well. I don’t want to say much about that either except to say that Trav, the male love interest, is described as looking like Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones Yes, please! (And you know I of course loved that this book had GoT references in it!) 5. Magical Realism. Sometimes magical realism is hit or miss for me, but it really works in this charming, special little town. This is where the comparison to Alice Hoffman’s books were so apt because Hawkins’ use of magical realism is subtle like Hoffman’s is and really gives you that feeling that those little magical elements could actually be possible.******If you’re looking for a heartwarming read that features a small town setting, lovable characters, and a strong focus on family and friendships, I highly recommend adding Karen Hawkins’ The Book Charmer to your reading list.
    more
  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    5 StarsWhen I first started this I had no idea it would be a series. By the time I finished, I knew that if it wasn’t going to be a series, it needed to be. So many more stories to tell in this universe.The Book Charmer series will focus on the 7 Dove sisters of Dove Pond. This book is supposed to be about Sarah. She has a magical ability to know just what book people need to read. The books speak to her. When she was younger, she found a journal that showed Sarah the history of Dove Pond. This 5 StarsWhen I first started this I had no idea it would be a series. By the time I finished, I knew that if it wasn’t going to be a series, it needed to be. So many more stories to tell in this universe.The Book Charmer series will focus on the 7 Dove sisters of Dove Pond. This book is supposed to be about Sarah. She has a magical ability to know just what book people need to read. The books speak to her. When she was younger, she found a journal that showed Sarah the history of Dove Pond. This journal made Sarah realize that she would be instrumental in saving Dove Pond. Later she is a bit dismayed to realize that she only had a small part in saving the town and that Grace Wheeler would be the one to accomplish that feat.This book is sort of a community driven book and although it is mostly about Grace Wheeler, her niece Daisy and foster mom Mama G you get to see how one person can effect an entire community for the positive and give them a giant blessing. That is, after they allow her to do that. The scene in the Moonlight Cafe after Grace is splashed by a car sloshing into a giant mud puddle I thought was the turning point of the story. That scene chokes you up and makes you wonder why she didn’t give up right there on the spot.I wish there had been more scenes between Grace and her neighbor Trav. I felt like I missed out on a lot of stuff that was left unsaid between the lines. The author assures me that any threads left hanging by the Sarah/Blake relationship will be addressed in book two which will be about Ava and her Tea Shoppe and a duct-taped box hiding under her bead trying to get out.This book was just so sweet and heart warming. I wish all small communities on the brink of dying would read this book and know there is hope out there if they only put their trust in all the people around them and their community spirit.Highly recommended.I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
    more
  • JenLovesBooks
    January 1, 1970
    I adored this book! Everything about it, made me fall more and more in love with it. I'm not one to read many books of this genre, or even complete them, but I found myself immersed deeply in these characters' journeys. And, enough love to want to pick up more books like it. Why not? Maybe, just maybe, I've been missing out on tons more like it. Like I mentioned above, I don't normally read stories like this one, because they don't catch my attention as much. But, the minute I saw the cover, and I adored this book! Everything about it, made me fall more and more in love with it. I'm not one to read many books of this genre, or even complete them, but I found myself immersed deeply in these characters' journeys. And, enough love to want to pick up more books like it. Why not? Maybe, just maybe, I've been missing out on tons more like it. Like I mentioned above, I don't normally read stories like this one, because they don't catch my attention as much. But, the minute I saw the cover, and read part of the synopsis, I said let's give it a go. Glad that I did, because I've never connected with as many characters as I did with in this novel (well, there's Harry Potter, but that doesn't really count, as almost everyone has found love with most of them). What's not to love about talking books, and enchanting teas made especially for the person their given to, or color changing flowers that fill the town of Dove Pond. These are only a few things that are part of this quirky, cute, and whimsical read. The other parts that fill these pages, are the great characters that become lifelong friends, and even more so, family.Mama G being my top fave, along with Sarah Dove and her belief in magic and those around her. The town of Dove Pond that come together in times of crisis, including setting out in groups through a crazy storm that looks to have no end, just to bring back one of their own. Then there are those little things like the town settings that join them throughout, including the town hall, the quaint restaurant of theirs, the main festival no one wants to miss, and so much more. I can't recommend this novel enough, it's my first top five star of the year. And, yes, that might seem a little high, a little too much of a gush, but I really did love everything about this novel. It all came together when it was supposed to, and the magic was just the right amount to make it feel realistic enough, part of the Dove Pond charm you're going to want to be welcomed into. Even more so, Trav... yup, you're going to want to get to know Trav. Smiles for days!***I received this copy from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
    more
  • Darcia Helle
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fun, feel-good story driven largely by the characters' intertwining lives. While the overall tone is light, the author does include serious issues such as PTSD and Alzheimer's disease. These aspects are handled well, so that we understand the heartache without drowning in it. The book starts slow, taking time for us to get to know all the characters. The story's direction is easy to figure out because of the plot's simplicity. We pretty much know the path we're taking and where we'll e This is a fun, feel-good story driven largely by the characters' intertwining lives. While the overall tone is light, the author does include serious issues such as PTSD and Alzheimer's disease. These aspects are handled well, so that we understand the heartache without drowning in it. The book starts slow, taking time for us to get to know all the characters. The story's direction is easy to figure out because of the plot's simplicity. We pretty much know the path we're taking and where we'll end up, but the journey is entertaining. The magic is a small part of the story, centering around the Dove sisters and their roll in the town. It's incorporated in a way that feels totally realistic.I was disappointed that Sarah, our book charmer, played a relatively small roll. Her character is definitely secondary to Grace, who is the newcomer and the center of this story. Still, I liked Grace, as well as the other characters, so it wasn't a big issue.Overall, this book provides the perfect setup for the series.*I received an advanced ebook copy from the publisher, via NetGalley.*
    more
  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    This is a new author for me, but I fell in love with this book. The author is similar to Sarah Addison Allen, in her writing, which I love. The small town story of Sarah and her magical ways swept me in right away. It was a nice change from the romance and mystery books I have been reading lately. Hopefully this isn't a stand alone and there will be more books to come from this sleepy little community.
    more
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up books for Sarah was her life.She always held that special connection to them so it's not a surprise she became the town's librarian.This quaint Dove Pond was run by the Dove Family and Sarah Dove was our main character.As she grows up she shows more of her magical abilities and finds readers for every book.It's a charmer for sure as the strong feminine roles are gripping for readers however for me it was slow to start and felt rush to end.The varying friendships formed were unique and Growing up books for Sarah was her life.She always held that special connection to them so it's not a surprise she became the town's librarian.This quaint Dove Pond was run by the Dove Family and Sarah Dove was our main character.As she grows up she shows more of her magical abilities and finds readers for every book.It's a charmer for sure as the strong feminine roles are gripping for readers however for me it was slow to start and felt rush to end.The varying friendships formed were unique and interesting and the idea of taking a trip through books was never more real.The displaced city girl Grace was another added bonus to the plot as she brought a different perspective.She's not all fluff and circumstance as she dislikes the town and its residents.The book leads her to gravitate her emotions towards this quaint lil town and soon she begins to release the walls she built."The Magic of Books" is all around and it pulls you in with every 'flip' of the pages....Thank you to Karen, the publisher, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
    more
  • Barb Lie
    January 1, 1970
    The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins is the 1st book in her Dove Pond series. The Book Charmer revolves around the small town of Dove Pond, and it’s librarian, Sarah Dove, who is the book charmer;she magically hears her books suggest who should be reading the selected book. The Dove family has always had a little magical ability to help the town and its townsfolks. Though Sarah plays an instrumental part of the book, the lead in this story is newcomer Grace Wheeler.We meet 10 year old Grace and her The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins is the 1st book in her Dove Pond series. The Book Charmer revolves around the small town of Dove Pond, and it’s librarian, Sarah Dove, who is the book charmer;she magically hears her books suggest who should be reading the selected book. The Dove family has always had a little magical ability to help the town and its townsfolks. Though Sarah plays an instrumental part of the book, the lead in this story is newcomer Grace Wheeler.We meet 10 year old Grace and her younger sister, Hannah, when they are placed in a foster home, as due to Grace’s tough attitude they have found themselves moving often, but upon meeting her new foster mom, Mama G, she will find a place to stay. We pick up years later, with a grown-up Grace, leaving a good job, to move to house in Dove Pond, to help Mama G (who is in the stages of dementia), and her niece, Daisy (her now deceased sister’s child). Grace takes a job as a township clerk; and gets help for a caregiver for her Mama G. Grace is distant, and tries not to befriend anyone in town, just do her job. But Dove Pond is a sweet wonderful small town, with friendly and caring residents. The town is in financial trouble, and Grace as part of her job, needs to fix the budget, and in time find ways to bring the town back to financial stability.What follows is a sweet story of Grace slowly understanding more of this town, especially the residents who are determined to keep her. Grace is also having her issues with the deterioration of Mama G, who does have lucid times, but the inevitable will happen. Daisy is also a handful for Grace, but as the townsfolk start working more with Grace to run a festival and bring in money and people back to Dove Pond, they also bring Daisy into being around new friends and neighbors, bringing her out of her shell.The Book Charmer was a sweet story line in a wonderful cozy small town in Dove Pond. Hawkins also gives us wonderful characters, especially Grace, Sarah, Trav, Ava, Daisy, Mama G and so many more. I also enjoyed the animals, as well as spending time with everyone in Dove Pond. Grace was a great heroine, who over time began to change when she became part of the wonderful town, and make friendships that she never had. Her late blooming romance with Trav was slow built mostly in the background, but it was a sweet happy ever after. A major part of the story was Grace having to deal with Mama G descent into dementia, and this was done so very well by Hawkins. The Book Charmer was an an enjoyable read that had a bit of everything; books, small town, magic, family, friendship and sadness. I suggest you read this book now.BarbThe Reading Cafe
    more
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah Dove comes from a magical family. Sarah’s Magic is that she can hear books. She is always able to find books that people need, whether or not they believe in her magic.She’s always believed that she will one day have to save her town.Then one day, mysterious things start happening in town. Her cat Siegfried starts making laps around town and the flowers all start to change colors.Then a book speaks to Sarah and tells her that the town’s new resident Grace is going to help save the town. Gr Sarah Dove comes from a magical family. Sarah’s Magic is that she can hear books. She is always able to find books that people need, whether or not they believe in her magic.She’s always believed that she will one day have to save her town.Then one day, mysterious things start happening in town. Her cat Siegfried starts making laps around town and the flowers all start to change colors.Then a book speaks to Sarah and tells her that the town’s new resident Grace is going to help save the town. Grace was a foster child, adopted by Mama G as a ten year old, along with her younger sister Hannah.Now Hannah has passed away and Mama G is recently diagnosed with Altzeimers. Poor Grace is now both a caregiver and a mother figure.She moved to town because she thinks it will help Mama G’s health.She is only planning to stay a year. She doesn’t care about making friends or dating, she doesn’t have time for either.But Sarah has other plans. She is going to be Grace’s friend and she is going to get Grace to stay in town.I love magical realism so of course I thoroughly enjoyed this. I’d read a spin off story of each and every Dove sister if the author wrote them. I want a book about the sister with the magical teas and the one with the magical cakes.Please, write the other sisters’ stories too!I also enjoyed the cute animals and the lovable characters. It was definitely sad at times but there’s a lot of heart in this story.I got to read an early e book edition from NetGalley. Thank you!
    more
  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this in theory, but was confused by some elements. The story felt like it took place in an already established world and since one of the characters is the seventh of seven sisters (and referenced those sisters) I thought maybe I'd accidentally grabbed the last book in a series. But no, this is the first.The story is set is the small town of Dove Pond, and featured Grace, a newcomer who comes to town with her young niece (who's recently lost her mother, Grace's sister) and Grace's mother I liked this in theory, but was confused by some elements. The story felt like it took place in an already established world and since one of the characters is the seventh of seven sisters (and referenced those sisters) I thought maybe I'd accidentally grabbed the last book in a series. But no, this is the first.The story is set is the small town of Dove Pond, and featured Grace, a newcomer who comes to town with her young niece (who's recently lost her mother, Grace's sister) and Grace's mother (who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's.) As her mom grew up in Dove Pond, Grace thinks that being in a familiar place could help her cope with her failing memory.There were some magical realism elements in the form of a town librarian who hears books speak to her and tell her who in town needs to read them. She's the Book Charmer of the title.There also really wasn't a solidly developed ending - a lot of plot elements were left up in the air. And there were two romances brewing that didn't really come to a satisfying conclusion as far as I was concerned.tl;dr - this book felt like only part of a larger story, and while I enjoyed the part I got, I wished Grace's story would have been more resolved without me having to read another book.Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
    more
Write a review