Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Book Review -- Charms for the Easy Life

Charms for the Easy Life
Book: Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

My enjoyment rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book source: borrowed copy

Three generations of North Carolina women: Charlie Kate, Sophia and Margaret, all fiercely independent, highly educated, and thriving in the life they have created, all without the help of any man. Charlie Kate is a self taught “healing” woman, who becomes the local, rural doctor; Sophia, her daughter, is fighting to find her own place in her mother’s world; Margaret, the bright granddaughter, has dreams of a college education, but is unwilling to leave the cocoon created by her matriarchs.

This was an extremely well written story, but without much if any plot. More of a character study, than novel. It covers, for the most part, the war years of World War II – where these women care for the returning wounded, both physically and mentally. It also deftly portrays the southern society at that time – white vs. black, affluent vs. poor.

This was my first Kaye Gibbons novel (one I pulled out of the donation bin at the library). I enjoyed her easy writing style and her female characters. I would be willing to read more of her, but would hope her other novels have more of a point.


Amused said...

I went through a huge Kaye Gibbons phase in high school and college and would highly recommend reading more of her. Her books made me cry. My favorites were Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman.

alisonwonderland said...

It's been many years since I've read any Kaye Gibbons, but Charms for the Easy Life was recently recommended to me by a good friend for my 2011 reading list. I really liked Ellen Foster but didn't like Divining Women at all. I've got A Virtuous Woman on my nightstand, lent to me by my mom.

Julie said...

hmmm .. this sounds like a book whose enjoyment would depend on your reading mood. I haven't read Gibbons yet, but I'm curious :) Thanks for the review!