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Customer Reviews for Abingdon Press Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2

Abingdon Press Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2

Widow Charlotte Figg's new home, Paradise Trailer Park, isn't exactly heaven on earth. Her ramshackle trailer needs repair, and her neighbors are harboring a multitude of secrets. Soon she discovers that her new friend, Suzy, is being abused by her husband. Can Charlotte save Suzy and deal with painful memories of her own difficult marriage? 400 pages, softcover from Abingdon.
Average Customer Rating:
4.5 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(10 Reviews) 10
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5 out of 771%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Review 1 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Mixed Bag; Loose Ends

Date:January 28, 2014
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Emily H
Location:Georgia
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
When I finished the book, my first thought was, "I wish I could have been the editor!" That is because I felt that with just a bit of tweaking this book could go from "pretty good" to "great read." The author's strong point is character development. You get to know the characters and their motivations. The pacing is excellent (until the final two chapters). The storyline is fresh and believable until.. it stops. If I had been the editor, I would have asked the author to rewrite the ending because she switched from 'showing' to 'telling,' and that left some unresolved issues. I am not talking about a set-up for a possible next book in the series either. I mean it just stops without an honest resolution.
Charlotte, the main character, knows the hidden truth about a felony in which another character dies. Apparently she is fine with that. In her prayer, she rationalizes it as "keeping a promise." The author fails to give any hint that this is a setup for a future disaster, and this omission is the greatest weakness of the book: the failure to recognize that keeping a lie is not okay. The entire theme of the book is about getting old garbage out in the open and rebuilding a life (several lives, actually), and yet the heroine decides to be complicit in secretly storing other characters' garbage. That is a bit traitorous for the reader.
The other spot where the editor failed this author was in not fixing a gratuitous scene. There is a lot of evidence that Charlotte had suffered psychological abuse from her husband, and throughout the book she is dealing with and recovering from those issues; but then near the climax, and seemingly out of the blue, she says it was physical abuse. Why? Just to identify with another character? It weakened the reader's opinion of Charlotte to have that thrown in so late in the story. Charlotte is in her early 40s (you have to run the math based on a conversion with her mom to get this because up to that point she acted older). The psychological abuse toward a woman that age was well written and believable. But the "Oh, yeah, and my late husband hit me too" coming out the way it did later in the story actually made me feel less sympathy for her. If this character shows up in any sequel, I hope she gets slapped with an obstruction of justice charge.
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Review 2 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Story was okay

Date:August 20, 2013
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nanaof9
Location:NE Georgia
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The story takes some time to get into, and then it gets interesting. I liked the "real crime" angle to it. Ended well.
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Review 3 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Much better than volume 1

Date:March 18, 2013
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Tunesareus
Location:Virginia
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I thought this book was pretty good overall, reminiscent of Mitford Series books in some ways. But I also thought the introduction of abuse and threats later in the book detracted from an otherwise upbeat story. I never quite got a handle on Charlotte's actual age either.
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Review 4 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 4, 2013
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Army Mom
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
When Charlotte's husband suddenly dies, she decides it's time to make some changes and to take her life in a different direction. After inquiring on a double-wide trailer, she sells her house, packs up her car and heads out for her new home. But once she get's there she finds that neither the trailer nor the trailer park is not as immaculate as the brochure represented.
But Charlotte is determined to make the best of it and starts to renovate her trailer. As the days and weeks go by she begins to met her unusual neighbors and together they slowly begins to become a community.
I loved this book. I loved the characters because they could be people that everyone of us knows. And while this book did make me smile and laugh a lot of the way through it, there were some serious plot lines that keep the the book well grounded.
This was a new author for me and I'm happy to say that I will be looking forward to reading more from her.
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Review 5 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 7, 2012
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Shareja
Location:Alexandria, VA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Very engaging, a fun and easy read, with great characters.
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Review 6 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fabulous, fun, and quirky book!

Date:July 16, 2011
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DMayne
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise evokes a wide range of emotions. I found myself laughing one minute and crying the next. As Charlotte moves through all the quirky scenes in the book, readers are slowly offered glimpses into her past to show her motivation. I love the subtle inspirational message, "the hand," the quirky characters I can relate to, the softball team, the pies...and, well, all the extra little touches that make this book so enjoyable! Joyce Magnin is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
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Review 7 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Take a trip to Paradise with Charlotte Figg

Date:November 7, 2010
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Brenda
Location:WV
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book starts out fast and holds your attention until the last page, Joyce Magnin is a new to me author, with a writing style that reminds me of Fannie Flagg, its a story of a lady really becoming the person she was meant to be, all it took was the death of her husband, and a move to a trailer park!
Charlotte Figg's husband Herman was the top Fuller brush salesman in his area, basically a unhappy man, Charlotte seemed oppressed by him, but a few pages in he drops dead in the kitchen floor, and even though Charlotte doesn't realize it yet her life is about to change for the better.
When Charlotte finds a life insurance policy in the bottom of Herman's salesman's bag, she knows at least she wont have to worry about money for a while. One of the first changes Charlotte makes is allowing a stray dog, whom she calls Lucky into her life. When Lucky steals the neighbors mail, Charlotte starts looking thru one of their magazines called Road Tripper, a RV magazine. When she comes across an ad that says nice looking double wide for sale with the contact person being Fergus Wrinkel at Paradise Trailer Park, she gets a bit of wanderlust, the picture included in the ad shows an eye catching trailer with wide window and awnings hanging with pots of pink and purple verbena. So she calls and purchases the trailer site unseen. So after selling her home, she heads for Paradise, where she is shocked at what she finds, instead of the pretty trailer in the ad she has purchased a run down mobile home that has racoons living inside it, when she complains to Mr. Wrinkel he informs her she is stuck with the trailer. Charlotte feels like such a fool, but soon she meets some people from the trailer park and they assure her that they will help her get her trailer fixed up.
She meets a quirky bunch of people at the trailer park from Rose Tattoo, to Ginger Rodgers, the trailer park residents each have their own issues. When Rose realizes that Charlotte used to play softball, she convinces Charlotte that they should get a team going in the trailer park. While everyone at the park suspicions that Mr Wrinkel his hiding something, Charlotte believes he is abusing his wife Suzie. When Charlotte encourages Suzie to leave Fergus, she realizes it wont be an easy thing to do, and when Fergus threatens Charlotte will she back off or will she continue to try and help Suzie?
Taking a trip to Paradise with Charlotte was a real adventure. The trailer park was filled with such a cast of characters, and Charlotte fit in perfectly. After the death of her husband, whom she was married to for 26 years, she was able to start living her life the way she wanted, and even though she sometimes made mistakes it seemed as if she had friends that were there to help her, and friends was something she never really had while Herman was alive. This story had some very humorous moments, but also some very serious ones as well, the one thing that Charlotte tended to do when she was upset or worried was bake pies. I really enjoyed the way the author allowed Charlotte to grow from a frumpy oppressed housewife into a lady with courage strength and a sense of who God wants her to be.
The author does an amazing job weaving this story in a way that allows the characters to capture your heart, I felt like I was visiting old friends while reading this book.
If you enjoy a story with a quirky cast of characters, that deals with a few tough topics then pick up this book, you wont regret it.
Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for providing me a review copy of this book.
-1point
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Review 8 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 5, 2010
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Terri Gillespie
CHARLOTTE FIGG TAKES OVER PARADISE is nothing short of delicious fiction. The second book in the Bright Pond series (THE PRAYERS OF AGNES SPARROW, Book One) stands on its own as an introduction to another community hungering for change.Although Charlotte Figg is known for her pies, this delightful book reminds me of the delicacy baklavamany layers of flavors that are both sweet and nutty. Author, Joyce Magnin serves up a unique blend of characters that will surprise and enchant the reader. Charlotte Figgs journey from a frumpy mousey nobody to a woman of strength and courage will inspire and challenge us to learn from our pain and move on from our mistakes. An Every-woman on a heroic journey.Magnins voice and characters resonate long after the book is finished and will make readers hungry for more of her distinctive writing, perspective and storytelling.
-2points
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Review 9 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 31, 2010
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I. Clemmer
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise made me laugh, cry, and cheer. I stayed up too late many a night because I wanted to find out how each new twist would be resolved and to know Charlotte and her neighbors better. Joyce Magnin's characters come to life as they encounter life's challenges and bond together to face them . Each one learns something about taking risks, being willling to trust, and accepting oneself and others, all while having some good fun! In these pages you will find comedy, tragedy, romance, mystery, and adventure. This is a fun book with a message of hope in the midst of adversity.
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Review 10 for Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Bright's Pond Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 16, 2010
A few months ago, I fell in love. In love, that is, with the small fictional community of Brights Pond. In love with characters who revealed strength, frailty, and a generous dash of fun. In love with an author whose penchant for Converse sneakers mirrors her fresh, distinctive voice.I loved Joyce Magnins debut novel, THE PRAYERS OF AGNES SPARROS and was delighted to receive an advance reader copy of her September release, CHARLOTTE FIGG TAKES OVER PARADISE. Although Charlotte Figg is also a Brights Pond novel from Abingdon Press, it has only limited connections to Agnes and should not be considered its sequel. The colorful characters of Charlotte Figg live in their own unique world.In quick succession, Charlotte Figg becomes a widow, buys a mobile home in the Paradise Trailer Park sight unseen, and moves into it with her dog Lucky. Soon, she begins an unlikely friendship with free-spirited artist and prayer warrior Rose Tatoo. The relationship yields new purpose for Charlotte when Rose half-prays, half-pushes her into the role of founder/manager of a womens softball team. As the Paradise Angels season progresses, Charlotte discoversand revealssome less-than-comfortable truths about herself, her fellow players, and her God.One of my favorite elements in both books is Magnins uncanny ability to use flawed but believable characters to display painful truths. Charlotte Figg forces its namesake to confront not only the abusive marriage in which one of her players is trapped but her own past wounds as well.Plot twists combine to propel the story in a direction readers may not intend to go. But dont let the hot topics scare you. Find a quiet spot and savor this book. Its combination of tough and tender goes down with all the appeal of one of Charlottes homemade pies.Read the book, visit Paradiseand fall in love all over again.
-1point
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