Friday, April 8, 2016
The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman
The Charm Bracelet, although fiction, reads like a memoir of Lolly, her daughter Arden, and her granddaughter Lauren. Arden's busy job (for a celebrity mag), and Lauren's college studies have kept them from visits to Lolly in Michigan. But as Lauren struggles with feelings that she has chosen the wrong major, and Arden's mounting frustrations at her job (as well as ongoing tensions with her ex-husband), they make a spontaneous decision to surprise Lolly with a visit.
The resort town welcomes Lauren like an old friend. Her childhood was filled with wonderful memories of summers at the lake with her flamboyant grandmother. Arden's memories, however, are not quite as glowing and the struggle to leave her work behind is an ever-present challenge.
As their visit progresses, it becomes clear that Lolly's health is not as vibrant as it was and with that realization comes the need to plan for the future. Even if Lolly's memory for today is clouded, her memories of the past stay crisp and clear, thanks in part to her beloved charm bracelet. Each charm represents a story and a lesson learned about life. Some were gifts from Lolly's mother who died while Lolly was young; others from friends, and some from her husband.
The stories of the charms have a magical affect on Arden and her daughter. They glimpse a window into Lolly's heart and witness her strength and wisdom through so many things in her life. Always an optimist, she tries to encourage her daughter and granddaughter to live life fully with lots of fun, faith, and adventure sprinkled throughout each day.
The book is a beautiful picture of all the buried treasure there is to be mined in the lives of our parents and grandparents, if we only take the time to look for them and listen to their stories. This book would make a wonderful gift along with a charm bracelet to start celebrating the milestones in anyone's life.
Can't wait for Shipman's next heirloom book about a hope chest that will come out in 2017!