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Extended Audio Sample Charms for the Easy Life Audiobook, 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 (5,969 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kaye Gibbons Narrator: Anna Fields, Kate Fleming Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN: 9781442350021
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hauntingly beautiful.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Intelligent and extraordinary.” 

    Dallas Morning News 

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

    Publishers Weekly

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

    Southern Living 

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

    Library Journal

  • New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/14/2014

    " It wasn't a traditional novel with rising action and climax it was just a series of events. I thought a lot of it was okay but overall it was told in a really "ugly" way. Not enjoyable to read and a little rough to get through. I don't recommend this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 2/4/2014

    " This book was sweet and satisfying. The perfect book to curl up on the couch and remember how much you love to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison | 2/1/2014

    " A re-read--probably my favorite of all Kaye Gibbons' books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 1/31/2014

    " Well written and wonderful characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni | 1/26/2014

    " A story of three woman in the south...it's been a while since I read this and I can't remember tons of details right now, but I loved it. The first generation's a natural healer who has cured about everyone in her community. Most of the story is of this woman, her daughter, and her granddaughter...they ways they interact, change, depend on one another, and learn to move in the greater world around them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kara | 1/26/2014

    " This is a quick read--the characters are very interesting, but there isn't much of a plot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 1/16/2014

    " I loved, loved, loved this book. The only thing that I did not like was that it ended. I wish the author would of given us some more on Margaret. The author gave us great endings for Charlie Kate and Sophia I just wish she ,again, would of given us more on Margaret's happy ending. But other than that this novel goes down in my top 10 of best reads so far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Palfreyman | 1/10/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book, just a funny, quick summer read!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/8/2014

    " 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 Amy | 12/5/2013

    " Really intelligent writing. Fun & serious & dramatic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley McNalley | 11/21/2013

    " My favorite book of all time! I've read it numerous times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy Johnson | 11/18/2013

    " It is one of my new favorites. I will read it again. The characters of wonderful and the writing is excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie Tanner | 11/12/2013

    " Loved this one! The three women in this book have their own strengths which allow them to support one another... such a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia | 10/31/2013

    " The movie is good too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 10/21/2013

    " Incredible, couldn't put it down, absolutely loved Charlie Kate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 10/2/2013

    " Loved this book. Great writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 10/1/2013

    " I loved this book about three women, a daughter, mother and grandmother living together in the South before, during and after WWII. The grandmother is a great character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky M | 5/24/2013

    " This book seems to just ramble around and throw things in that seemed entirely unnecessary. Not my favorite. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 3/5/2013

    " Ultimately the message is as old as the hills; the key to a charmed life is to find and marry a rich man. I know this is in alignment with the time and setting but I was still disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah Parker | 2/22/2013

    " One of my favorite books. It brings back episodes of my childhood growing up in a female dominated, three generation home. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/21/2012

    " This was an enjoyable read, but there's not a whole lot to it. It really could have been twice as long as it was. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 11/1/2012

    " Someone suggested the NC author. Book was am enjoyable, but a slow start. However, I am looking fwd to her Ellen Foster text. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 7/13/2012

    " Read again for the 3rd time, One of my favorites. Love the relationship between the 3 generations of women. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Highflyingfool | 6/20/2012

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauralee | 5/24/2012

    " Another book where the women are all wonderful, except they have lousy taste in men. Or is it that all the men are lousy? Can you tell I am not a big fan? I am afraid I did not finish this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 4/17/2012

    " Charming, easy read. Interesting characters that you can almost believe really existed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 3/28/2012

    " This wonderfully crafted story about women and southern life was fantastic. A friend gave me a copy because it was one of her favorite books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 2/4/2012

    " This was a delightful quick read. I loved the characters and the simple stories. This is a great book for a light read that still has some poignancy to it. "

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About the Author

Kaye Gibbons was born in Nash County, North Carolina, and attended North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her 1987 debut, Ellen Foster, received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Prize in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two of her books, Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman, were selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 1998. She is currently a writer-in-residence at the library of North Carolina State University and lives in Raleigh with her husband and three daughters. 

About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.