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- ISBN: 9780743542739 (sound recording : hoopla Audio Book)
- ISBN: 0743542738 (sound recording : hoopla Audio Book)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource (1 audio file (180 min.)) : digital
- Edition: Abridged.
- Publisher: [United States] : Simon & Schuster Audio : 1994.
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When Charlie Kate Birch revives a North Carolina man after an unsuccessful lynching in about 1900, he gives her a watch, a box of snuff, and a rabbit's foot charm for the easy life. Charlie Kate, a self-educated doctor, is a woman ahead of her time; talented, headstrong, popular, and successful. Her marriage to an illiterate ferry operator on the Pasquatank River deteriorates to the point that he abandons her and their daughter, Sophia. Charlie Kate perseveres, teaching Sophia from her wide store of knowledge, but her daughter, at 18, marries a "cad" whose philandering makes her life miserable. They do manage to produce Margaret, though, yet another in the line of intelligent and beautiful Birch women. When Sophia's husband dies, the three women live together harmoniously. One Christmas a young man gives Margaret all the icons and charms from his childhood, but she cannot think of a gift of equal value, so she turns to her grandmother for advice. The charm for the easy life is immediately passed on to Margaret for her use with the warning that the word "easy" can be defined in many ways. Gibbons's writing resonates with Southern charm, depicting the lives of her strong characters with depth and clarity.
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