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Download Charms for the Easy Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Charms for the Easy Life, by Kaye Gibbons Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,974 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kaye Gibbons Narrator: Kaye Gibbons Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 1994 ISBN: 9780743542739
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A family without men, the Birches live gloriously offbeat lives in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. In a sad and singular era, they are unique among women of their time. For radiant, headstrong Sophia and her shy and brilliant daughter Margaret possess powerful charms to ward off loneliness, despair, and the human misery that all too often beats a path to their door. And they are protected through the years by the eccentric wisdom and muscular love of the most stalwart Birch of all—a solid, unbending, and uncompromising self-taught healer who can cure everything from boils to broken hones to broken hearts … a remarkable matriarch who calls herself Charlie Kate.

Charms for the Easy Life is the passionate, luminous, and exhilarating New York Times bestseller by Kaye Gibbons, the acclaimed author of Ellen Foster and Sights Unseen.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Haunting and beautiful.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Intelligent and extraordinary.” 

    Dallas Morning News 

  • “A masterful job…Marvelous…Colorful…Engaging…Unforgettable.” 

    Southern Living

  • “[Gibbons] creates a touching picture of female bonding and solidarity.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Gibbons’] characters remain quirky without being quaint.” 

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terrieb99 | 2/11/2014

    " It was sweet, but did not fall in love with any of the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erinkeller33 | 2/3/2014

    " This is a "charming" book. It reads effortlessly, and I fell for "Charly Kate," the witty, sassy Grandmother that practices alternative medicine out of her home where her daughter and granddaughter assist. In fact, my nursing skills yearned for her confidence and smart solutions to life's many ailments. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kressel Housman | 1/28/2014

    " This is the story of three generations of Southern women - a grandmother, mother, and daughter. It's told from the daughter's perspective, but the grandmother is the most interesting character, a nurse in such demand that she challenges doctors and is generally a town matriarch. It takes place in WWII, which sort of makes it like The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, minus the frivolity. Well-written, but not a favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Haley | 1/23/2014

    " While not very memorable I thought it was good and worth reading. I would reccomend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 1/14/2014

    " I loved this book...not because of the plot, but because the quality of writing was good enough that nothing needed to happen in the plot for the book to be entertaining. Some books are poorly written and get through purely on plot, but this book was really well written--and didn't need much of a plot. I loved the characters right away. They were real, believable and lovable. I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandi Kahles | 1/7/2014

    " This book surprised me. I wasn't sure what to expect, but from the cover it appeared to be some sort of historical romance novel. It turned out to be more like a pice of historical fiction documenting the interesting life of three generations of women. The character development was great and I really enjoyed the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 1/5/2014

    " hmm...I am obviously missing something, the characters were mildly amusing, but the story went nowhere. not sure of what the point was, kind a boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Olson | 1/4/2014

    " So beautiful. Perfect prose. I quote it constantly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 1/1/2014

    " Every young woman should read this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mariah | 12/19/2013

    " This was my go-to beach book for many years. It's got some great strong female heroines. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 12/14/2013

    " Fabulous! I love Kaye Gibbons, and this is one of my favorites of hers. I really loved the characters. This is a great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leone | 11/18/2013

    " Read for Sandy Library book club. I like Kaye Gibbons and have read a few of her other books. It was a good book. Nothing spectacular. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 11/12/2013

    " I first read this book in high school and then again a few years ago for book club. I really like Kaye Gibbons and her style of writing. It's a fairly easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 11/8/2013

    " I liked this book a lot. Loved the characters and their outlook on life. The best part though, was knowing that I could rib a book group member about how the characters didn't like Madame Bovary. He promptly responded with "well yes, but they mentioned Madame Bovary as an important book!" LOL "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Csklu | 8/18/2013

    " Can I give this book a 10-star rating? In my opinion, it is perfect. The characters are dynamic and delightfully flawed. I appreciate strong female characters that aren't stereotypically gritty. Now I want to find my Tom Hawking III. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 6/24/2013

    " One of the few books I have reread a couple of times. I love the people in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 3/17/2013

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was charming and funny. I would recommend this book for a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caryn | 2/17/2013

    " This takes place in and around the Raleigh area. It follows a strong woman and her family thru 30's and the 40's. This would be a great beach read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindseyvwilson | 7/18/2012

    " I thought this book was slow. I started liking it by the time it ended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane Ann | 4/26/2012

    " Hands down, one of my all-time favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 2/28/2012

    " loved this one. the characters were beautifully developed, and the story engaging - it was enjoyable to read a novel set in historic Raleigh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 12/23/2011

    " Story set in eastern & Raleigh, NC, during the first half of the 20th century. Three generations of Birch women live together leading interesting lives. Charlie Kate is the strong matriarch who certainly adds color to the family and community life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee | 12/21/2011

    " I so enjoyed the confidence and expertise the grandmother showed in this book, and the great relationship she had with her daughter, but especially her granddaughter. I would recommend this book if you just want a new friend to get to know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 12/4/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The females in this book are simply awesome. And not too fluffy:-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kammy | 9/12/2011

    " Three generations of smart strong women who take care of others and love to read good books. Great story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 8/14/2011

    " A perfect vacation book! It's smoothly written, engaging, and provides an interesting view into the life of women in the early 1900s in the Piedmont of NC. Doesn't ever hurt to read an honest but uplifting book about strong women. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelly Kiker | 7/14/2011

    " I couldn't wait for my daughter to get old enough to read this book. She loved it as much as I did! Ellen Foster is wonderful but this is my favorite Kaye Gibbons. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin Magee | 7/13/2011

    " Reminded me of Olive Kitteridge. Not a lot of action. Character study of 3 generations of women in rural NC. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaylynn Bryson | 6/29/2011

    " kind of a fun read. enjoyed it but didn't love it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 6/28/2011

    " I enjoyed this book. But probably enjoyed the book club discussion a little bit better than the book itself. Unfortunalely my dog chewed up the first 3rd of the book, thank goodness I was further along than that. so this will probably be a one read book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Highflyingfool | 5/23/2011

    " I found this book warm, charming, and containing an adequate amount of spunk. I loved how the author writes and would definately read another one of her novels again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darlene | 5/22/2011

    " You can't go wrong with a Kaye Gibbons book; she's a great story teller! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Divya | 5/18/2011

    " i wish i could give it a 3.5...but it's closer to 4 than 3, i suppose. loved the way it was written and the characters were wonderful. but nothing happened... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robyn | 5/6/2011

    " LOVED this book! Looking forward to reading more from this author.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaime | 5/2/2011

    " I liked it but I like all her work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 4/30/2011

    " Wonderful writer.She sayd only what needs to be said, and then lets her characters take over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 4/27/2011

    " Charming. Really, I had a lovely time reading this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 3/18/2011

    " My introduction to Kaye Gibbons. I flipped out over this!

    Was this a mother/daughter book club selection? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angie | 3/1/2011

    " I enjoyed meeting the women in this book, but I was not caught up in the story of their lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beve | 2/16/2011

    " Enjoyed it made me think alot about my grandma Taylor and her friends. Kaye writes with a style that pulls you in. cute story. I read it for Book club. Would like to read many more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcy | 1/19/2011

    " I can't decide between 4 and 5 stars. Great storyteller, fun story and nothing really questionable for an adult...except, there is something about the attitude toward men in it that makes me hesitate to give it 5 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kay | 11/18/2010

    " Love a book about a strong woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carole | 11/13/2010

    " This was a re-read of a book that contains one of my all-time favorite quotes: "I've read two books a week for 30 years; I'm satisfied I know everything." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaylynn | 11/7/2010

    " kind of a fun read. enjoyed it but didn't love it. "

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