Under Magnolia is a captivating book! Memoirs is one of my favorite genres to read because I feel transported back in time along with the writer to relive their journey with them. I was sad when this book ended and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent reading it.
We travel back to Frances' roots and relive her younger years with an ill father and an alcoholic mother who doesn't seem quite know how to grow up. She knows her family is a bit different than others, and she is a stubborn willful person who won't stop until she reaches her own dreams and goals whether she realizes it at the time or not.
Frances overcame her difficult upbringing and knew she wanted more for herself than what the standards were set at the time. During her time if you could marry then you were set to go. Women amounting to anything on their own was practically unheard of in those times. Frances went on to show that no matter how many years went by, or what she did she lived her dreams. To see how wonderful of a writer she has became despite the difficult years is very inspirational, and just goes to show we all have to follow our own path.
I love the writing style and how the words just flow so easily. It was as if I was there walking alongside Frances in a time I can imagine. Very vivid details so nothing was too small, and just an all around wonderful trip! I am glad I was able to read this book! If you like memoir's then I recommend this to you.
::From the back of the book::
A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life.
The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family.
From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell.
Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.
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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a Blogging for Books reviewer in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.