©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories

Celeste Fletcher McHale is a new to me author and she has written a book that deserves to be savored.  It needs to be read slowly and carefully so that each word can sink into the reader and take hold.  This is not just a compelling story line, it is enrapturing!

Jacey is a journalist writing about impoverished people in the deep South.  She gets caught in a flood and ends up on a roof with Lillian, her four boys, and Colin, waiting for rescue.  When the first boat comes by, Jacey, Lillian, and the boys get in and before they get too far, their boat is hit by another.  The currents of the flood waters are strong enough that Lillian's baby boy is ripped from Jacey's hands and Lillian is also pulled out of the boat.

A year later, Jacey encounters Colin as the minister who is performing the wedding ceremony of her best friend, Willow.  Jacey has scattered memories from the flood and Colin holds the key to some of the memories.  She keeps having dreams that rattle her sense of stability, but when the final key unlocks the last of the memories, Jacey runs to Colin for comfort.  Colin tells her he thinks he's falling in love with her and then backpedals so fast, she gets whiplash.  To soothe her hurting soul, she thinks of the boys and she goes to Biloxi, Mississippi, to see if she can find them.

Several items remotely related to this book:
   A.  I am glad it is not a scratch and sniff book.  There are many scents and perfumes that give me migraines, and magnolias are one of them.
   B.  There is a scene with a vague reference to sex and it is pre-marriage.
   C.  Everybody needs a Miss Ernestine in their life, and NO one needs a Miss Penny.
   D.  I have a friend who is just as outrageous as Grace and I love her dearly.

This is a great book for people who love happy endings, it's got the best happy ending of them all.  Celeste knows how to get the best out of her characters and settings. This is a five star book with two thumbs up, and a branch of magnolia blossoms.

My thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book.

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