THE GIFT OF A CHARM – Melissa Hill
St. Martin's Griffin
New York City's Manhattan Island
The first snow fall of the year makes Holly O'Neill happy. It signals the holidays are coming and hope is alive. Holly is an upbeat single mother of a bright ten-year-old son; Donny is the light of her life. She also has a job she loves at the Secret Closet, a vintage clothing store in the Village. Holly wears a charm bracelet that she received years ago with one charm on it. It came to her anonymously shortly after her father died. She's woven many fantasies around that piece of jewelry…another charm arrives like the first, seemingly at an important time in her life. One day recently, Holly found another charm-filled bracelet in the pocket of a vintage Chanel jacket that had come to the store in an untraceable box. Holly is sure the bracelet's owner must long to find it, so she sets out to locate her. But where to start?Holly's quest will take her all over the city, and she'll be dealing with many strangers. All this in the short times she's able to fit it into her busy life.
Ms. Hill has created many interesting and diversified characters—friends, old and newly met, andfamilies—that fill this engaging novel. One person in particular shares center stage with Holly even before they meet.Greg Matthews is fed up with working long hours in a stuffy cubicle selling stocks when his dream has always been photography. He recently sold a photo to a gallery; could he make a living at it? What would his ambitious girlfriend think of that idea?
In THE GIFT OF A CHARM, chapters take turns showingGreg's and Holly's stories…both full of emotion and suspense. Will fate and the bracelet lead to a meeting between them? And if that isn't enough to keep you up all night, there are a few chapters told over the years in first person by the mysterious owner of the found bracelet.
I highly recommendTHE GIFT OF A CHARM for a unique and charming (sorry, couldn't resist)novel, and though I haven't had the good fortune to have readboth its predecessors, A GIFT TO REMEMBER (excellent) and A GIFT FROM TIFFANYS (to be read), you should check them out as well. All three are set in New York during the Holiday season.