Magnolia Storms is a very timely book for this year–partly set in the midst of a hurricane, it also deals with the lingering emotional and physical scars from Hurricane Katrina. The author has kindly offered up a paperback copy of this novel for me to give away, so enter below to see if you will win!
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About the Book:
When Maggie’s ship pilot father died during Hurricane Katrina, despite everything she did to prevent it from happening, something broke inside of her. She gave Josh, the love of her life (and also a ship pilot), an ultimatum–either her or the job, and he chose the job. Maggie turned inside herself, becoming a meteorologist so that she could help predict these storms and prevent them from taking further lives. She moves away from the coast–and her remaining family–in order to keep herself safer and do her job. Then her sister is in an accident and Maggie gets a phone call requesting that she come home to help care for her pre-teen niece and elderly aunt. Maggie has to swallow her fear and comes back to Mississippi, even though some storms are predicted.
The storm that Maggie cannot predict is that Josh and his three-year-old son J.D. live next door to her sister, and that puts him squarely back into her life yet again, against her better judgment. The two spend time together due to different circumstances, and Maggie gets to know J.D. and his refreshingly delightful childish look at life begins to crack through Maggie’s calloused soul. Josh and Maggie are forced to take a long look at the unresolved feelings for each other and also compelled to look at their own lives, fears, and choices through a different lens.
There are so many great themes in this book, and one that is particularly poignant is about overcoming fear and learning to trust God even when that means loosening or relinquishing control. It’s not easy to do that, especially when we have been hurt or wronged, and Magnolia Storms touches deeply on surrender to God even in the most uncertain circumstances. That’s not to say that Maggie didn’t frustrate me at times, I did feel like she was dwelling too much on the past and not allowing any room for compromise, but I haven’t been through the rough situations she has so I offered the character a bit of grace.
I loved the way the author portrayed J.D., the humor of his interactions created both levity and thoughtfulness that only a child can bring to a situation. Often an author will write a child’s speech too mature for their stated age, but Ferguson hits the nail on the head with J.D. and everything is totally age appropriate. Josh and Maggie’s relationship is tumultuous, but most of it is completely understandable and relatable based on their shared history. The resolution is heartwarming and believable.
Magnolia Storms moves forward at a quick pace and kept me turning pages to find out what would happen next. I was engaged and absorbed in the characters and the overlying threat of storms and the fear that caused. This is the first book I have read by Janet Ferguson and it definitely won’t be the last. She has a real talent for characterization and making the setting an integral part of the story. Magnolia Storms is the first book in the Coastal Hearts Series.
Overall this is a lovely, contemplative story that will cause readers to think about fear and how to surrender that fear to God. The characters are gorgeously portrayed and readers will feel invested in their ultimate outcomes.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for review. All opinions are honest and my own.
Leave me a comment on this post to win a copy of the book. What storms have you endured in your life (either literal or figurative)? Other optional entries will give you more chances to win.