Book Review: Charms for the Easy Life

Charms for the Easy Life
By Kaye Gibbons
254 pages
Finished June 2008



A family without men,the Birches live gloriously offbeat lives in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. Radiant, headstrong Sophia and her shy, brilliant daughter, Margaret, possess powerful charms to ward off loneliness, despair, and the human misery that often beats a path to their door. And they are protected by the eccentric wisdom and muscular love of the remarkable matriarch Charlie Kate, a solid, uncompromising, self-taught healer who treats everything from boils to broken bones to broken hearts.

Sophia, Margaret, and Charlie Kate find strength in a time when women almost always depended on men, and their bond deepens as each one experiences love and loss during World War II. Charms for the Easy Life is a passionate, luminous, and exhilarating story about embracing what life has to offer…even if it means finding it in unconventional ways.

After all the young adult fiction I was reading, Charms for the Easy Life was like a breath of fresh air for me. It was nice to read a story that didn’t thrive on teenage drama to keep the plot afloat. It read more like a memoir than a novel for me, and I kept having to remind myself that it was a work of fiction. As I neared the end, I knew that parts of the story that I thirsted to read more about would come to unfinished conclusions, but the author did a great job of putting them to rest in such a way that I felt content. I enjoyed the author’s style of writing and will have to check out more of her work!

2008 Page Count: 4606


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