Book Review: The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

The Book Charmer

Author: Karen Hawkins

Publication Date: 30 July 2019

Genre: Adult Fiction – Contemporary Romance with magical realism

Pages: 368

Publisher: Gallery Books

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 Travis 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 is a charming and magical read that takes place in the cozy town of Dove Pond, NC. Dove Pond is currently struggling to survive the pressures associated with staying up to date in modern society.

Sarah Dove is the local librarian in the town of Dove Pond. Her and her sisters are rumored to be magical, and this magic has been in their family for generations. It’s no surprise when books start talking to Sarah; telling her the needs of each reader that crosses the library’s threshold. She doesn’t always know why the readers need a particular book, but she knows that the readers need it nonetheless. With Dove Pond threatening to decline, the townspeople believe that Sarah can finally turn the luck around in this sleepy town.

The town begins to buzz as newcomer Grace, her elderly mother Mama G, and recently orphaned niece Daisy move to town. Mama G is battling with Alzheimer’s, and Grace hopes that returning Mama G to Dove Pond will help her retain the memories that she has left.

This story was such a sweet and charming read. I fell in love with the town of Dove Pond, and the “magical abilities” that the Dove sisters have. My heart ached for Grace as she dealt with Mama G’s deteriorating memory. While Grace could have accepted help earlier, I completely understand her hesitation and the desire to be independent. I really enjoyed watching the romance unfold between Trav and Grace because it felt natural. They both intimately understand the pain of parents battling with memory disorders.

Overall, this is a heartwarming and spellbinding read that you don’t want to miss.


  1. This sounds so good! I love books about books and fellow bibliophiles and I love that this has a hint of magic to it as well 😍 It sounds like a sweet, feel-good story and I can’t wait to check it out!


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