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The Essential Charlotte
by Libby Schmais

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0312311656

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


The Essential Charlotte
Libby Schmais
Dunne, Sep 2004, $12.95, 242 pp.
ISBN: 0312311656

Thirty something Manhattanite Charlotte Stiles cannot believe that Corrine (her mother insisted she call by her name) just died. The “Ask the Doctor” research librarian is a bit off but not just because of the death of the only person who loved her (albeit from a distance). It is hard to believe because Corrine was filled with vigor and élan traveling the globe as a nutty but likable artist.

The will shakes Charlotte to the core because Corrine’s stipulation for her daughter to inherit her Soho loft, she must live there for one year with her father, whom she thought died over three decades ago. Charlotte cannot even look at him so how is she to live with William LaViolette for one year. One thing is for sure it is not by seeing a hunk of an actor. Her only help lives in San Francisco, but Paul is there for her encouraging her as they talk over the Net; that is not counting her chats with mom.

When the tale concentrates on a deep character study of what is THE ESSENTIAL CHARLOTTE, the story line is superb; when the subplot dips into chick lit turf it remains fun but typical candy fare. Overall Libby Schmais keeps her novel at the highest quality levels as readers become acquainted with Charlotte through her activities, discussions with her deceased mom, and the three males (dad, the actor, and Paul) currently in her life. Fans of powerful character-driven dramas will want to read the near perfect tale of how Charlotte finds her groove.

Harriet Klausner


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