Saturday, April 26, 2008

Charm! A Novel by Kendall Hart (2008)

This particular surprise reference was a find of my mother's, Mary C. Mary is a life-long fan of the ABC soaps, particularly All My Children. Mary is also new to the internet and has proudly placed her second order from this past week. Her selection, you ask? A novel written by a fictitious character on All My Children which has crossed over into a general release for soap fans. When the novel, Charm! by Kendall Hart (Erica Kane's illegitimate daughter on the show, originated by Buffy the Vampire Player star Sarah Michelle Gellar and now played by Alisha Minshew), arrived in the mail yesterday, I glanced through it out of curiosity. Randomly opening to page 25, I was quite surprised to see the words Wilkes-Barre. Exploring further, I happily discovered that Wilkes-Barre appears a total of 12 times (on eleven pages) in the novel.

Charm! tells the story of Avery Wilkins, a young Wilkes-Barre native who moves to New York City in the hopes of creating her own perfume line, chasing her dreams while running away from her past:

p. 15
"'It's perfect---elegant yet modern. You're a class act, kid,' Justin said.
A class act. Avery loved hearing those words. In that dingy little house at 9 Mayflower Street in Wilkes-Barre, taste, tact, and black cocktail dresses were in short supply."

p. 25
"Her mother suffered from alcohol-related Alzheimer's disease, lived in a group home in Wilkes-Barre, and was incapable of using a telephone."

p. 41 (Avery is asked to tell her boyfriend Brad about her childhood)
"'Oh, my childhood was pretty uneventful. Middle-class, Wilkes-Barre, PA, usual milestones: ice skating, braces, boys.' There were no ice skates, no braces, no boys."

p. 63 (Avery meets her long-lost sister Lucy)
"She has a famous mother and a sister who went to private schools. She was more than just a girl from the wrong side of the tracks in Wilkes-Barre."

p. 67
"'Where did you grow up? Any siblings?'
'I grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania...very middle-class, ordinary, no siblings.'"

p. 94 (with her boyfriend Brad at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris)
"It was all so lovely and romantic, but Avery felt out of place, as if a mistake had been made and someone was going to knock on the door and tell her the girls from Wilkes-Barre weren't welcome at the Crillon."

p. 122 (meeting Lucy's mother)
"'I'm serious. I want your answer to that question. if I was just some housewife living in Wilkes-Barre, would you have bothered?'"

p. 179
"She reached the outskirts of Wilkes-Barre...As a child, Avery couldn't wait to get out of Wilkes-Barre, but today she was glad to be back."

p. 183 (visiting her mother at the Rhinehart Home)
"But like all of Wilkes-Barre, it had seen better days."

p. 186 (talking to her mother)
"'And that day you told me to get out of Wilkes-Barre. Do you remember that day?'"

p. 215 (Avery wants to move her mother closer to NYC)
"Avery stood on the lovely landscaped lawn, took out her cell phone, and called the Rhinehart Home in Wilkes-Barre."

Charm! by Kendall Hart is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. Click here to place a reserve; click here to place a reserve on the Large Print Edition.

Much thanks to my mom Mary C. for this reference.

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