Sassy Charms (Book Review: The Charm Bracelet, Viola Shipman)

25663663“The Charm Bracelet,” by Viola Shipman is a sweet, heartwarming book about three generations of women in a family. It centers most on the grandmother figure, Lolly, and she is a spiky, cooky character, hip before she was. She has just been diagnosed by MCI, which sounds similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but not as bad, apparently: most who have been diagnosed can still lead daily lives. Her daughter and grand daughter comes to visit, and in the course of he book, we learn, told in flashback, of how Lolly lived her life. Each chapter relates to a charm in a charm bracelet. This book has definitely a lot of heart, and you really will fall in love with Lolly. But is heart enough? The writer, Viola Shipman, is actually a pseudonym for memoir writer Wade Rouse, and you can see some fine handcraftsmanship in story-telling. (The name is his grandmother’s) But there isn’t really enough of a story here, and the stop and go style sometimes made it tedious. And some stories – like Arden’s love story line – didn’t come across as authentic to me . But the action flows well enough, and the book slim enough to keep your attention. And you will read about an unforgettable character, Lolly, and that’s reason enough to pick up this book.

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