Family Charms

NEW in trade paperback and ebook!


About the book:


Marlo came home from school one day to find her mother gone. Twenty years later, she gets a letter from Elizabeth inviting her three daughters on a trip around the world to see where she’s been the last 20 years – and what kept her away. What follows is an emotional ride for a family torn apart by abandonment, infidelity, cancer and a fear of commitment. Marlo, Taryn and Amelia are three sisters as different as they come, but united in their feelings of betrayal. Is it ever too late to trust in love? Take a journey around the world to learn the meaning of family and forgiveness.


Amelia, in Hawaii:

We pull up to the Kaha Lani resort and I scramble out of the limo as if it’s on fire. An ocean view! The turquoise waters and miles of white sand scream to me, and without a word, I take off, kicking off my sandals and running until I reach the ocean and fall into it, the cool water rushing over me.
It reminds me of a picture book that Marlo used to read to me when I was little.
When you look up, I am the moon, said Mother.
When you look down, I am the grass, said Mother.
And when you swim, I am the water all around you.
Get it in trade paperback or ebook:

1. Despite not having contact with their mother in 20 years, the sisters agree to take the trip around the world. Do you think it was more about finding their mom or the trip itself for each sister? Is that something you would’ve done?
2. On the journey they learn more about their mother through journal entries and her “Keepers.” Do you think the sisters’ learning about what happened at the first destination changed their perception of her? Which sister do you think is more sympathetic to Elizabeth?
3. We slowly get to know about their father throughout the story. Is he a good guy or a villain? Do you feel he made the best choice for his daughters in keeping information from them?
4. Marlo struggles with her marriage and whether she should let her husband go or stay and try to be a normal family. Do you think her mother leaving made it easier for her to leave him – to justify in her mind that he was better off without her? Is she unable to mother because of what her mother did or do you think the trip rectified that?
5. Taryn is tough. Or is she? Are her tattoos just a cover-up? What do you think her tattoos say about her and how do they act as charms in her life story?
6. Amelia wants love but seems to find it in the wrong places. Do you think she purposely chose people she knew she couldn’t have as a safeguard? What is it about Lucas that she’s drawn to? Will they make it?
7. At the beginning of the novel, the sisters are all but estranged and don’t seem to tell each other what’s really going on in their lives. Do you feel their relationship healed along the way? What were the big a-ha moments?
8. What role did their father play in who they’ve become and how that impacted their relationships with men?
9. Elizabeth seemed to seek out caretaker roles on her journey – besides being a bartender. Did she do that to punish herself or try to make amends for leaving her girls behind? Do you think she forgave herself? Do you feel she’ll ever be able to live in “normal society” again or stay secluded?
10. What does being a family really mean and what did Family Charms teach you about how different families come to terms with their past and try again?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Okiemom says:

    Just recently “found” your books. Family Charms is the first one I read and I enjoyed it immensely. Can’t wait to read the rest.

    1. malenalott says:

      Thanks so much, Tammie! I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed Family Charms. I hope you’ll stay in touch and that you are having a wonderful summer. xo

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