Crown Books for Young Readers: Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

The Book Charmer

When city girl Grace Wheeler arrives in Dove Pond, N.C., she doesn't plan to stay. She's convinced a year will be long enough for her grieving niece to adjust to Grace's guardianship following the death of her mother, Grace's sister, and for them to learn to cope with Grace's beloved foster mother's growing dementia. After making her way through the foster care system, Grace is solitary and emotionally contained, which makes her completely unprepared for the warmhearted residents of Dove Pond.

Town librarian Sarah Dove has always talked to books. Cranky though the books sometimes are, they have told her to expect a change for Dove Pond. Sarah is convinced that Grace's arrival is the magical good luck that will save her slowly fading town. When friendly Sarah attempts to interact with aloof Grace, however, her overtures are politely rejected. But Sarah is determined, and Grace is in over her head with her moody niece and her foster mother's dementia care. Grace's deepening friendship with Sarah, the kindness of the town residents and her reluctant interactions with her cynical next-door neighbor, Travis Parker, gradually strengthen her bonds with the community. Can it be that these two fiercely independent women have found a way to join forces and solve Dove Pond's financial struggles, as well as Grace's family troubles? 

Set in a small Southern town filled with both extraordinary and ordinary magic, this novel sparkles with quirky, endearing characters, dialogue and setting. Fans of women's fiction will love this sometimes whimsical, often insightful, always absorbing story. --Lois Faye Dyer, writer and reviewer