A Cup of Silver Linings
by Karen Hawkins
Dove Pond - Book 2
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
Ava Dove—the sixth of the seven famed Dove sisters and owner of Ava Dove’s Landscaping and Specialty Teas—is frantic.
Just as her fabulous new tearoom is about to open, her herbal teas have gone wonky. Suddenly, her sleep-inducing tea is startling her clients awake with vivid dreams, her romance-kindling tea is causing people to blurt out their darkest secrets, and her anti-anxiety tea is making them spend hours staring into mirrors. Ava is desperate for a remedy, but her search leads her into dangerous territory, as she is forced to face a dark secret she’s been hiding for over a decade.
Meanwhile, successful architect Ellen Foster has arrived in Dove Pond to attend the funeral of her estranged daughter, Julie. Grieving deeply, Ellen is determined to fix up her daughter’s ramshackle house, sell it, and then sweep her sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Kristen, off to a saner, calmer life in Raleigh. But Kristen has other plans. Desperate to stay with her friends in Dove Pond, Kristen sets off on a quest she’s avoided her whole life—to find her never-been-there father in the hopes of winning her freedom from the grandmother she barely knows.
I fell in love with Dove Pond and her citizens while reading The Book Charmer and couldn't wait to return for book two, A Cup of Silver Linings. This time around, Ava Dove takes center stage but she's not the only one with a story to be told. I love how Hawkins takes the threads of various people in town, some related, some not, some old, some new, and weaves them together into a heart-tugging tapestry that completely immersed me into their lives and kept me eagerly turning pages while also wanting to slow down and savor each scene. There are some heart-wrenching situations, including grief and betrayal. I appreciate the fact that the author doesn't veer from the deep anger and pain that often accompanies those situations but that she also allows her characters to gradually, and realistically, work through those emotions and emerge on the other side with hope and the first steps towards healing. But balancing those deeper emotions are the charm, humor, and heart that are always evident in a story of Hawkins' creation.
There are subtle hints of romance in the book but the primary focus of this series is on the women, their trials, triumphs, and relationships. I'm invested in them now and have a stake in their happiness, and in the case of the Dove sisters, their magic. I'll be in line to buy every book Hawkins decides to write in this series.
This book could stand on its own but I strongly recommend reading the books in order. As there are many characters and inter-woven stories that continue to evolve through the books, I think you'll have a much better understanding of the characters and less confusion if you begin with The Book Charmer before moving on to A Cup of Silver Linings.
Ava Dove's magical gift is the ability to communicate with plants while her sister Sarah communicates with books. If you were able to choose a magical gift, what would it be?