Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Rate: 4 Flowers
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived. Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist. But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
Recently, I’ve been interested in anything regarding the South, which stemmed my excitement to read Magnolia. I think it’s due to the fact that the South makes for such a unique and fascinating setting. Magnolia turned out to be a book that definitely didn’t disappoint as I loved pretty much everything about it.
Ryder and Jemma’s relationship was the central focus of Magnolia, and with hate-to-love relationships being one of my favorite things to read about, I loved their story. Originally, Ryder came across as kind of detached to me, and definitely seemed to be on a pedestal. However, throughout the book, there’s so much more revealed to him than I thought there would be. By the end of the book, I was completely sold on his character. Jemma was stubborn to the point of it being frustrating, but she was still a realistic character and also grew on me throughout the novel. Together, they were pretty awesome ;)
I adored the setting of the South just as much as I hoped to. Despite the fact that a large part of the book takes place during a crazy storm, the way the South is described is still beautiful. I loved the sound of the sunsets, and how close-knit the community of Magnolia was.
The story was split into three parts, and although there might not have been much action to the plot, I personally found the various story-lines and messages brought up throughout the novel to be very relatable. It held my interest the entire time I was reading it and the ending of Magnolia was perfect, too. I could not have imagined a better ending!
Magnolia is a book that I’d recommend to anyone who loves a great contemporary. It makes for the perfect summer read and I’m currently rereading and enjoying it all over again :) (being as I first read it a few months ago). I’d give it 4 out of 5 flowers.
As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
That’s the official version–here are some other fun facts:
~ As an undergrad, I majored in History and minored in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at Southern Miss, I was a member of Phi Mu sorority, and I was a Dixie Darling. And yep, Brett Favre was our quarterback at the time!
~ I studied American History in grad school at Columbia University. I *love* history, especially the Civil War era (U.S.) and Regency- and Edwardian-era British history.
~ My all-time favorite book *and* movie is GONE WITH THE WIND. My favorite literary characters are Rhett Butler, Atticus Finch, and Mr. Darcy. I kind of want to add Peeta Mellark to that list!
~Weirdly enough (or maybe not so weirdly?) I’m also a big fan of STAR TREK (the original series). I never can remember if I’m supposed to call myself a “Trekkie” or a “Trekker,” though!
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