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. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
My Take: 5 looks
Even though this is a novel I will most likely not read again, I liked it so much that I will add all of this author's books to my TBR list. I enjoyed this book very much. The strong female characters spoke to me. They were strong, loving, sensitive, flawed and very believable.
The writing style was just my style. It was smart, funny, poignant and became a real voice as I read. The characters shared similarities, but were very different. They were each sympathetic, frustrating and full-bodied. I loved each one.
The book ended in a very nice and realistic way: it just ended. Much like life goes from one chapter to the next. Readers have become so used to every mystery being solved, every identity being revealed and every rock being overturned. In "Charms" there were unanswered questions, loose threads and every bit of realism that day-to-day life holds. I closed this book feeling very satisfied, and that is the best review a book can receive.