ISBN-13: 9780425232354
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: March 2010
448 pgs
Source: Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting

I totally enjoyed reading Wendy Wax's previous novel, The Accidental Bestseller so when the publicist asked if I wanted to review her latest release, Magnolia Wednesdays, I said yes without hesitation.

While The Accidental Bestseller tells the story of a writer's life, this time around Magnolia Wednesdays allows readers to get a glimpse of the life of a journalist and I have to say I totally loved the setting as I have always been intrigued by this profession (and not to mention I am in awe of journalists who would go to great lengths to cover a story).

In this story, Vivien Armstrong is just one of them but it seems she ran out of luck one day when she got shot in the butt while investigating a story. To add up the humiliation, a video showing her getting shot is being circulated on the net and all of a sudden she became the news. Her employer is definitely not impressed by the way she works, and decided she should take a break. Vivien would not allow someone younger to take over her job, so she quits.

She decided to move in with her sister Melanie in suburban Atlanta, thinking this would be a good opportunity to spend more time with Melanie and her family, after all she has been neglecting them; it is also at that time she realised she is pregnant at age forty. She decided not to let anyone knew about her pregnancy, not even her boyfriend since he is a correspondent and he is always travelling. Vivien later found a job in writing columns for a weekly magazine but under the pseudonym of Scarlett Leigh, as she writes about her observations living in the neighbourhood in suburban Atlanta. After staying there for a while she began to see things differently while she search for her own happiness.

Magnolia Wednesdays is basically a story about family, secrets and life in general. One of the things I liked about this story is reading about the changes in Vivien, right from the beginning of her life being an ambitious journalist to being a woman who has a strong liking to her family and the simple things surrounding her. Besides Vivien, there is also a sub-story about Ruth and Angela; both women living in suburban Atlanta and are also friends of Melanie.

As much as I enjoyed reading Magnolia Wednesdays, I would have to say I'd prefer The Accidental Bestseller more partly there are more interactions between the three protagonists comparing to this, as it seems to focus more on Vivien. I understand this is simply a different approach by the author on the plot and style so I do not really have an issue with it and is simply my own preference. Nevertheless, Magnolia Wednesdays is a heartwarming story and if you love a good Southern women's fiction, this book is for you.

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16 Responses
  1. Ana S. Says:

    I find journalism absolutely fascinating too. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this quite as much as the author's other book, but it sounds like it was still great :)

  2. Dot Says:

    This sounds really good and I love the cover! Thanks for the review.

  3. Andreea Says:

    I love the cover, but I don't know about the book. I think I find the other book more interesting and I will check that one out. Thanks for your honest thoughts.

  4. Darlyn Says:

    i like the book cover. it reminds me of the time traveller's wife..thanks for the review though..i think i will like the book too.

  5. Jaimie Says:

    Thanks Melody! I was actually thinking of adding The Accidental Bestseller to my TBR list. It sounds better than getting shot in the butt! :)

  6. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    We had both of these books on our silent auction for the Adult Literacy League, and I was bidding on them but didn't win them! I want to read them both!

  7. Joanna Says:

    I have to say I was immensely attracted to the cover when I first saw this book. I've developed a liking for southern fiction lately, so I might give this author a try sometime . Thanks for the review

  8. Iliana Says:

    What a pretty cover. This sounds like a good fun read so I'll have to add it to my list. Thanks for the great review, Melody!

  9. Darlene Says:

    Nice review Melody! I loved this book. I haven't read The Accidental Bestseller yet but I do have it on my shelf. I'm looking forward to it though.

  10. The Bookworm Says:

    I've heard good things about this one, great review Melody.

  11. Beth F Says:

    I'll have to look into this one -- my mother was a journalist until she retired at about age 79. Well, she kind of retired because she had an assignment just a couple of weeks ago (and she's in her 80s now).

  12. bermudaonion Says:

    I'm glad to see you enjoy Wendy Wax's work. I got to meet her and bought both books you mentioned. By the way, Wendy is very nice!

  13. Alice Says:

    Hi Melody, I think I'll add this to my American Journey challenge. I'm going to Georgia next so this is perfect since it's set in Atlanta.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I have The Accidental Bestseller on my wish list. Looks like I should start with that one.

  15. Julia Says:

    Even though you prefer The Accidental Bestseller more, am glad to hear you enjoy Magnolia Wednesday, anyway :) I hope the next book would be even better for you next time :)

  16. Melody Says:

    Hi, everyone! My apologies for not replying on a one-to-one basis (lots of catching up to do!). I enjoyed reading Wendy Wax's books and I can't wait to find out what her next release will be! :)

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