Melissa Hill – The Charm Bracelet

“Holly O’Neill knows that every charm bracelet tells a story. Many years ago she was sent one with just a single charm attached. The charms have been appearing ever since, often at challenging times, as if her mysterious benefactor knows exactly when she needs a little magic in her life. As a result, Holly’s bracelet is her most prized possession. So when she finds someone else’s charm bracelet, she feels she has to try to reunite it with its owner. Even if the only clues she has to follow are the charms themselves. On a search that will take her all over New York City at Christmas, Holly becomes ever more determined to piece together the details of this other charmed life. But what she doesn’t know is that her quest may also lead her somewhere she never, ever expected…”

Melissa Hill’s books are always heartwarming, feel-good reads, so I was looking forward to starting this one. Having owned a charm bracelet since my 16th birthday and understanding the significance of it myself, I enjoyed this book even more than the last one – Something From Tiffany’s. This is the tale of Holly O’Neill, whose most precious possession is her charm bracelet – after her ten-year-old son, Danny. Each charm symbolises an important part of her life, and every so often, a new charm appears mysteriously. She loves her bracelet so much, that when someone donates an unwanted coat to The Secret Closet, the vintage store she works at, and she finds a beautifully embellished charm bracelet left in the pocket, she vows to return it with its owner.

She maps the owner’s life by all of the wonderful charms attached to the bracelet – a replica of their house, a memento from a trip to Italy – in a desperate bid to get it back to them, but her attempts are fruitless. While Holly searches, the story switches to Greg, a career man who’s just given up his high-power job and the fat salary that comes with it – something that his current partner is none too thrilled about. But he’s found his true vocation – photography – and although this venture isn’t making him as much money as before, he’s finally happy.

Holly and Greg’s lives cross one day when Greg learns of Holly’s valiant attempts to reunite the bracelet with its owner – someone who is very close to him – and tries to track her down. Will Holly find its owner and return their beloved piece of jewellery? Will Greg’s partner finally make peace with his new calling? And who is the mysterious figure that has been leaving Holly thoughtful charms to add to her bracelet? The Charm Bracelet ends in a sweet, heartfelt but unexpected way, in true Melissa Hill style.

Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the review copy.

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