Gentle Reads for a Gentle Reader

Updated: Sep 9



What are Gentle Reads?

"Gentle Reads" is a term used to describe novels that contain no sex, violence or offensive language. The stories typically take place in small towns, are upbeat and often contain humorous and/or inspirational elements.


Here are just a few RPL gentle reads titles ready to be checked out. Enjoy!


Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.


But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope and healing in the most unexpected places.


Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a joyous reminder of life’s infinite possibilities. (from Amazon)

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it....

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.


A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants--from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys--except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.


When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down--along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy--if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom--or with each other.


Enchanting and heartfelt, Garden Spells is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own.... (from Amazon)

In Starlight on Willow Lake, Faith McCallum is intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her new employer, Alice Bellamy. Recovering from a tragic accident, she opens her historic lakeside home to Faith and the girls. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice's charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.


The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, but his mother's devastating mishap—and a long-buried family scandal—has called him home. Faith McCallum, with her legendary nursing skills, is supposed to be the key to his escape. But when Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he's created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake. (from Amazon)

Village Centenary welcomes readers back to Miss Read’s cozy English downland village just in time for the hundredth anniversary of Fairacre Shool. Miss Clare, who was a pupil and later a teacher there, points out that such a milestone should be celebrated, and all of Fairacre is quick to offer suggestions—from a tea party to a full-scale pageant.


Deciding how best to stage the grand occasion, however, is only one of Miss Read’s problems. The new teacher, Miss Briggs, fresh from college and full of idealistic theories, proves a thorn in Miss Read’s side. Plus: Miriam Quinn is afraid she might have to leave home; the vicar has decided to keep bees; the ancient skylight in the school is leaking; and Mrs. Pringle is her usual dour self.


But as the seasons continue to change, the centenary year unfolds—with all its hopes and fears, memories and feuds, and friendships that make the tough times so much easier to bear. (from Amazon)


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