5 Stars Out Of 5
The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories Celeste Fletcher McHale (4.5-5 Stars)
May 7, 2017
Stranded on a rooftop during a devastating Mississippi flood, Jacey becomes attached to her fellow survivors, a poor mother, her four sons, and a man named Colin. Over the course of three days, Jacey and Colin formed an indescribable bond forged by their life-and-death situation. When a chance at rescue separates Jacey and Colin, they promise one another that they will reunite, only to have their contact information and Jaceys memory wiped away in a tragic accident in the flood waters. A year later, Jacey and Colin are unexpectedly reunited at a friends wedding. Jaceys faulty memory, triggered by her tragic accident, begins to return after talking with Colin and reestablishing their relationship in the normalcy of their real lives. However, the flood waters were not the only complication that Colin and Jacey encountered in the years prior. To move forward, each must have faith to overcome their previous challenges and fears, even if it means setting aside the relationship that they each have sought to relocate after the flood.
Ms. McHale shows herself to be a resonant voice in Southern fiction, writing in a style that reaches beyond traditional Christian fiction and into the real world challenges of everyday people. The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories will leave readers wanting far more of Ms. McHales stories.
Overall, I was absolutely thrilled with The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories! After reading Ms. McHales debut novel, The Secret of Hummingbird Cake, I was left unsure as to whether she could ever write another story of equal caliber. In The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories, she shows herself to be an incredible (and surprisingly consistent) storyteller. The novel features complex and compelling characters faced with incredible, yet realistic, challenges, leaving the reader reflecting on the story long after it ends. While some aspects of the novel may fall outside of the norm for Christian contemporary fiction, Ms. McHales story offers a fresh and genuine tale that will resonate with a Christian audience. Additionally, the storyline, including the characters faults and challenges, will also ring true for a general readership. In this purely Southern tale, Ms. McHale offers an insightful look at the true meaning of redemption and second chances, whether for a family, marriage, friendship, or romantic relationship.
Special thanks to the author (Celeste Fletcher McHale) and BookLook Bloggers for the advanced copy of The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories!
Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog