Monday, September 28, 2009

Charms for the Easy Life

by Kaye Gibbons
Rated PG
A family of unusual women live together during the World War II era, a time when women of all sorts began doing things women had never done before. Charlie Kate, the matriarch of the family, has been working the natural art of healing since she was a young woman, and is wildly successful and sought after, even by the local doctors and pharmacists. Her daughter Sophia is beautiful and headstrong, and her granddaughter Margaret, from whose point of view the story is told, is brilliant and shy. Each has her own way of coping with the hard realities of life, and they cope so well it made me feel like life wasn't really that hard after all, at least not for a strong woman.
By design, this book is more about the characters than the plot, and I enjoyed feeling the triumph of womanhood as I read about them. I especially enjoyed Margaret's volunteer work at the local VA hospital, where she and Charlie Kate take pains to "amend" the letters the wounded soldiers dictate to Margaret so they won't be sending anything home to mother that might worry her!
Rated PG simply because I disagreed with some of Charlie Kate's advice to young, pubescent pre-teens.
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