Charms for Easy Life T

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Jun 1, 1995 - Fiction - 256 pages
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Women of grace and gumption bloom in the pages of Kaye Gibbons's fiction: The title character of Ellen Foster, her debut novel, was dubbed by Walker Percy "a southern Holden Caulfield". A Virtuous Woman prompted Reynolds Price to write, "Kaye Gibbons shows us the secret core of a love that easily outlasts death". And in A Cure for Dreams, wrote Josephine Humphreys, Gibbons "reveals how men's ways require [the] courage of women". In this, her fourth novel in six years, she gives life to her most passionate and tough-minded women yet: . Charlie Kate, out of nineteenth-century rural North Carolina, a self-proclaimed doctor who treats everything - leprosy, malaria, even lovesick blues - with her roots and herbs, and advises the adolescent girls she "caught" at birth that "kissing's fine, nothing more than uptown shopping on downtown business". Sophia, her daughter, who has inherited her mother's singular wisdom and will, putting them in service to her desire to control the world around her and land the man of her choice. Margaret, the narrator, Charlie Kate's granddaughter, whose struggle toward adulthood is complicated by the home-front demands of World War II and whose longing to defy heredity leads her to the happy discovery that for her, too, passion is the natural and most blessed gift. Here, in Charms for the Easy Life, a timeless story of three generations of fiery women, Kaye Gibbons proves once again that, as Elizabeth Spencer has said, "she knows how to speak to our hearts".

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Charms for the easy life

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Like its predecessors, Ellen Foster ( LJ 4/15/87), A Virtuous Woman ( LJ 4/1/89), and A Cure for Dreams ( LJ 2/15/91), this new novel depicts three generations of Southern women living together during ... Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Kaye Gibbons was born on May 5, 1960 in Nash County, North Carolina. She received a bachelor's degree in American literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her first novel, Ellen Foster, was published in 1987. It won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was chosen as one of Oprah's Book Club Selections, and was adapted into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Her other novels include The Virtuous Woman, A Cure for Dreams, Sights Unseen, On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon, Divining Women, The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster, The Lunatics' Ball, and The Secret Devotions of Mary Magdalen. Her novel Charms for the Easy Life was also adapted into a made-for-television movie. She also received the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, which recognized her contribution to French Literature in 1996 and she received the North Carolina Award for Literature in 1998.

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