A Cup of Silver Linings (Dove Pond) – ARC review

A Cup of Silver Linings
by Karen Hawkins
Release Date:  July 6, 2021
Publisher: Gallery Books
Book #2 in the Dove Pond series
Number of Pages: 352
Kindle Edition
Source:  ARC from NetGalley
Women’s Fiction
Ages 15 and up
Read 6/30/21 to 7/5/21

From New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins comes another book in her Dove Pond series—and this time Ava’s famous tea leaves spell trouble ahead.

Ava Dove—the sixth of seven daughters of the famed Dove family, and owner of Ava’s Landscaping and Specialty Gourmet Tea—is frantic.

Just as she is getting ready to open her fabulous new tearoom, her herbal teas have gone wonky. Suddenly, the tea that is supposed to help people sleep is startling them awake with vivid dreams; the tea that infuses romance back into tired marriages is causing people to blurt out their darkest secrets; and the tea that helps people find happiness is making them spend hours staring into mirrors.

Meanwhile, living four doors down the road from Ava, sixteen-year-old Kristen Foster’s life has just crashed down around her. After her mother’s death, Kristen’s grandmother Ellen has arrived in town to sweep Kristen off to a white mansion on a hill in distant Raleigh. But Kristen has had enough ‘life changes’ and is desperate to stay with her friends in her beloved hometown of Dove Pond. But to do so means Kristen must undertake a quest she’s been avoiding her entire life—finding her never-been-there-for-her father.

With the help of an ancient herbal remedy book found in her attic by her sister, Ava realizes that Kristen holds the key to fixing her unstable tea leaves. So Ava throws herself into Kristen’s search, even convincing Kristen’s grandmother Ellen to help, too. Together, the three embark on a reluctant but magical journey of healing, friendship, and family that will delight fans of Alice Hoffman, Kate Morton, and Sarah Addison Allen. 

Seriously, this series has the most amazing covers. Once again, that’s what drew me in even before I knew it was the next book in the Dove Pond series.

Just as in the first book of this series, The Book Charmer, the first half of this book moved quite slow. Actually, it moved even slower that the first book. I actually felt there were too many perspectives. I understand how the lives and stories of Ava and Kristen overlap, but it just felt like too much to me. There was so much going on. Kirsten grieving her mom and worried she would have to move with her grandmother, Ellen (the grandmother) trying to bond with Kristen and regretting the relationship she didn’t have with her now deceased daughter, Ava trying to get her tea room ready for opening while hiding a huge secret from even her sisters while also trying to be a comforting present in Kristen’s life, Ava also losing business when she has a bad batch of teas.

While I loved Sarah in the first book, we were only given random scenes with her here that didn’t show her charm to the extent that I would have liked. With the minimal amount given, I don’t understand why any of the chapters were written from Sarah’s perspective. Again, it was too much.

When I was reading Kristen’s storyline, I wanted things to stay on her storyline. While I was reading Ava’s, I wanted it to stay on Ava. That is to say, I enjoyed both of their stories. It was the jumping back and forth that got to me. (I should note, this is not something that generally bothers me in a story.) And as the story jumped characters, it also jumped time. With the weeks flying by, it made no sense that Kristen’s story hadn’t progressed more.

Here are a bunch of positive things. Most of the characters are wonderful. I still enjoyed the quirky and magical nature of the Dove family. The town as a whole is downright charming. The concepts are original and interesting. All of that kept me coming back. It was the loosey-goosey nature of the flow of the story that had me only reading a chapter at a time.

I feel invested enough in the Dove sisters to want to know what happens next, but I’m hoping the next story is a bit more cohesive.

3 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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