Family can be annoying, but they tend to always be there for you when you need them most. In Viola Shipman’s The Charm Bracelet, the memories of family are prominently displayed and recalled.
Lolly has a charm bracelet laden with charms, each of which represent a memory and story, but which is embarrassing for Lolly’s daughter Arden. When Arden and her daughter Lauren decide to take a vacation to Scoops, Michigan to visit Lolly, their perspective on life and what’s important in it shifts as they learn more about their family’s history from Lolly’s stories relating to her charm bracelet.
While the story is a touching one and enjoyable to read, it raises questions as to the plausibility of such scenarios as the rapid progression of events was unrealistic. It seems rather unlikely that people, such as Arden, who are so fully entrenched in the routine of their lives and stasis of their established personality, would suddenly change their lives in such a drastic measure. Having grown up in Michigan, I can say that I have never heard of Scoops and am hard pressed to locate it (but please feel free to prove me wrong!) despite the abundance of other location clues of the Manitou Islands and Interlochen to place the town (not to mention that Lost Land Lake is actually a lake in Wisconsin). If you’re going to pick a place that plays an integral role in the story, it should be an actual place or entirely fictitious–not an amalgamation. Aside from that major concern of mine, the narrative and thought of honoring our elders and history was well developed, even if the ARC is still in need of some serious editing.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.