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Magnolia Wednesdays

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From the author of The Accidental Bestseller comes a wonderfully entertaining book about what to do when life comes at you full swing.

At forty-one, Vivian Armstrong Gray's life as an investigative journalist is crumbling. Humiliated after taking a bullet in her backside during an exposé, Vivi learns that she's pregnant, jobless, and very hormonal. This explains why she says 'yes' to a dreadful job covering suburban living back home in Georgia, a column she must write incognito.

Down south, it's her sister's ballroom dance studio that becomes her undercover spot where she learns about the local life-and where unexpected friendships develop. As she digs up her long buried roots, she starts to wonder if life inside the picket fence is really so bad after all.

448 pages, Paperback

First published January 19, 2010

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About the author

Wendy Wax

20 books1,404 followers
I write novels that explore friendship, self-discovery and the challenges life brings us, leavened with a touch of humor. I'm proud of all my books and perhaps best known for my "Ten Beach Road" titles including the USA Today bestsellers, Ten Beach Road and The House on Mermaid Point, and for While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.

I was born in St.Petersburg, Florida and grew up on St. Pete Beach within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico. I went, appropriately enough, to Sunshine Elementary School where recess and art class sometimes took place on the beach, and the highlight of every school year was the annual fish broil.

It’s hard to be a type-A personality when you grow up in such a laid back environment, but I managed. Convinced that you were expected to know how to read BEFORE you showed up for school, I forced a neighbor friend to teach me to read at the age of five. I’ve been reading ever since.

Books, in all forms, are one of my greatest pleasures and best forms of escape. And they’ve had a major impact on my life.

I went to the University of Georgia after reading Gone with the Wind one too many times. For a while I re-read Margaret Mitchell’s classic yearly, saw the movie whenever it played within twenty miles, and could quote large passages from memory. Today I have a growing GWTW collection, and the time I spoke at he Margaret Mitchell House was an incredible thrill.last

After college I worked in radio, television, and film. Like Olivia in 7 DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, I’ve done live talk radio. I hosted a show in the eighties called Desperate & Dateless, and while I was never locked in an apartment for a week with a webcam rolling as she was, I did fall in love. Happily, the man who swept me off my feet consults with financial types and understands the bottom line. Unlike Olivia’s nemesis, Matt Ransom, my husband has never, to my knowledge, advised anyone to ‘love the one they’re with.’ We live in Atlanta with our two sons.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 224 reviews
312 reviews3 followers
April 20, 2010
Yawn inducing predictable, minus one surprise. Total joke that they feel the need a Reader's Guide in the back, as the book has the same depth as a kiddie pool.

If I have to say something nice, I will say that I want those purple strappy sandals on the cover.
Profile Image for Ashley Rothberg.
242 reviews3 followers
June 22, 2012
this book was painful. There are not many books I have disliked more than this one. the characters were not likeable, I hated the story line and I detest women who do not tell the father of a child that there is a child. Only read it for book club, took me forever, could not force myself to read it but finally did and I am glad I did for book club but I never want to read another book by Wendy Wax, sorry.
7 reviews
February 16, 2019
I nearly stopped reading in the first few pages. I kept stumbling over the awkward metaphors and the sprawling run-on sentences. Here are a few examples.

“ it was 10 PM on a muggy September night when Vivian pressed her self into a doorway in a darkened corner of the Wall Street parking garage a few feet away from where a source had told her an FBI financial agent posing as a large institutional investor was going to pay off a debt ridden commodities trader.”

“Crouched beside her cameramen, Marty Phelps, in the heat-soaked semidarkness, Vivian tried to ignore the flu symptoms she’d been battling all week. Eager to finally document the first in a string of long-awaited arrests, she’d just noted the time—10:15 PM—when a bullet sailed past her cheek with the force of a pointy-tipped locomotive.”

“Before she could think what to do, more bullets buzzed by like a swarm of mosquitoes after bare flesh at a barbecue.”

“What there was was a vague sense of regret that settled over her like a shroud, making ViVi wish deeply, urgently, that she’d done better, been more. Maybes and should haves consumed her; little bursts of clarity that seized her and shook her up and down, back and forth like a pitbull with a ragdoll clinched between its teeth.”

He shrugged, unwilling to admit that he couldn’t say no to Carolyn Baxter Gray, former debutante and emotional steamroller, who’d pursued his cooperation as relentlessly as she’d ever campaign for her husband‘s political career.

========================

That was just from the first 12 pages.


Then It was tricky to follow the several points of view. I kept having to go back to remember who all these characters were. There were too many storylines going on at once. I found some of the characters cliched and/or stereotypes.
Then as the plot progressed I just couldn’t suspend my belief. Some of the plot twists and scenes just seemed a bit improbable, too good to be true.

Overall, it was just meh.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
127 reviews48 followers
October 5, 2010
One of the best things about being a blogger is discovering new authors that I have not heard of before. When I was asked to review Wendy Wax's novel Magnolia Wednesdays, I jumped at the chance. This book is right up my alley. As soon as I started reading it, I was hooked. The characters are so richly portrayed and drawn out. The plot moved steadily and all loose ends were wrapped up nicely. I actually tried to read this book as slowly as possible because I wanted to savor each and every word on the page. I loved this book!

Vivian Armstrong Gray is a 41 year old investigative journalist living in New York City. While investigating a story, she is shot in the backside (yup, that backside), the video of which ends up on YouTube (yup, that YouTube). Humiliated, jobless, and newly pregnant, Vivi's life is falling apart. Desperately seeking work, she accepts a job writing scathing articles about suburbia for the Weekly Encounter - a job she must write under a pseudonym. Vivi heads to Georgia and moves in with her sister (Melanie), niece (Shelby), and nephew (Trip) and promptly immerses herself into the suburban life. She joins Melanie as she goes through her daily (and exhausting) life as a single mother of two teenagers, trying to keep her business afloat, while keeping her kids on the right path -- and trying to figure out what the heck her sister is doing back in Georgia.

Melanie runs Magnolia Hall, a dance studio, in her Georgia hometown and is always trying to offer new and exciting classes to try and bring in new business. Her latest venture is a Wednesday night belly dancing class, which much of the novel revolves around. Melanie forces Vivi into taking the class (she needs as many people as possible to make people feel comfortable!) where we are introduced to two secondary characters whose stories we learn about throughout the rest of the story. The Hall almost becomes a character unto itself in this novel. A lot of action takes place here and it was very easy for me to visualize the Hall, with bustling activity and classes taking place concurrently. Melanie, Vivi and their friends decorating for the holidays; lining up for belly dancing class; joining the Friday night social party. It really sounds like a happening place! It's also the place where Vivi learns a lot about the local suburban life for her articles.

Meanwhile, Vivi is struggling with her pregnancy and how to tell the father of the child, Stone, that he's going to be a daddy. Stone is a war correspondent and is overseas in hostile war territory covering extreme situations where he is in constant danger. She can never seem to find the "right moment" to divulge her news to him. Will she ever get the chance?

As Vivi continues to write her articles in anonymity, she begins to forge a deeper relationship with her sister and make new friendships with people at Magnolia Hall. What Vivi discovers about herself and her relationships while "undercover" in suburbia will have a profound impact on her life. But what happens once her secrets are revealed? Will her family and new friends ever forgive her?

Magnolia Wednesdays is an amazing story of family dynamics and relationships. It makes you realize that, no matter how old you are, it really is never to late to go home again.

Jennifer
http://www.crazy-for-books.com
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,011 reviews178 followers
March 2, 2010
Vivien Armstrong Gray was covering one of the biggest stories when things went terribly wrong and Vivien ended up getting shot in the butt. After this incident, Vivien has become the butt of everyone’s jokes. Vivien needs a break, so she heads down to stay with her sister, Melanie and her two children, Sheila and Trip.

Vivien soon realizes things aren’t always as they seem in the suburbs. Vivien comes up with the idea to write a news column about the burbs. She calls it Postcards from Suburbia. She writes under a pen name of Scarlett Leigh. Things don’t quite add up in the death of Melanie’s husband, J.J. Vivien decides to do some investigating into his death. How long will Vivien be able to survive in the suburbs?

Magnolia Wednesdays is the first book I have read by author, Wendy Wax. I have wanted to check out her books but just haven’t until now. Vivien has so much life and character to her. The funniest moments were when she was driving. Anyone and everyone had better stay in their homes when Vivien is on the roads. I felt sorry for the poor cop who kept having run ins with Vivien. Though, he got back at her when he made her walk to the gas station in her bath robe. Magnolia Wednesdays does not have to be read on a Wednesday, it can be enjoyed any day or time of the week. Don’t take my word for it, pick up a copy today and see for yourself.
Profile Image for Andrea.
865 reviews54 followers
February 28, 2010
Since my undergrad was in broadcast journalism, I am always excited to read a good story about a journalist. If it has a chick-lit theme with a good plot and good characters, that's even better. And Magnolia Wednesdays was just that.

While I didn't completely connect with the main character, Vivi (although I love the teaching job that I have now, it's not my life), I definitely remember how intense broadcast journalism can be and how life-consuming it can be. I loved how Vivi grew into a warm, loving sister and mother. She had setbacks, but in the end she had grown so much.

The other cast of characters were great as well. From Melanie, Vivi's sister and the all-around great single mom, to Ruth, the elderly lady who spent her days in the dance studio and wanted her marriage back to the way it used to be, to Amanda, the bride-to-be who can't get over her formerly obese days, to Shelby and Trip, Melanie's children.

And there was a twist with Vivi's brother-in-law's death that I didn't see coming at all. I had my own theories about what would come out about the death but I was so far off!

This was a heart-warming story and one that I truly enjoyed.
Profile Image for Diane Donnell.
67 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2018
Did not finish, do not recommend.

I had some serious housecleaning to do and wanted a light, fun audio book to listen to. This one was available on the library Hoopla app, so I downloaded and started cleaning. I listened to about 3.5 hours and gave up. It's soooo bad. The protagonist becomes unexpectedly pregnant, and does not tell the father. Also, she uses being pregnant to sleep all the time and eat tons of food. She wasn't actually sick, just acted helpless. Drove me crazy. Hello, most people who are pregnant can hold down regular jobs and function through life!

Also, she's living with her sister and pretending to be interested in her sister's life, when she's actually just writing sarcastic magazine columns about "mom life" under a pen name. This is going to end well, right? Well, I'm not sticking around to find out.
Profile Image for Sara.
274 reviews12 followers
September 2, 2011
Wanted to like this novel and to be able to recommend as a lighter read for book club, but alas this will not do. Vivi is a smart reporter in NYC until she gets shot on a story. Humiliated as her shooting hits the net and after learning she is being replaced at work, she quits her job. She decides to return home to a sister in the South whom she no longer knows. And there she sees the lives of suburban minivan moms and writes up snotty articles making fun of their lifestyles. So, she is living in her sisters house--free, doesn't spend any time "working", she gets food prepared for her nightly and her room is cleaned, and she's pregnant (but reluctant to tell baby daddy)...I just never had empathy for Vivi, she could do so much more than be a selfish obtuse mooch.

Profile Image for Vickie.
1,313 reviews4 followers
April 9, 2015
Magnolia Wednesdays is the first book I have ever read by Wendy Wax, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Vivien Armstrong Gray is a Southerner at heart whether she realizes it or not. When her life as a investigative journalist in NYC spins out of control, she heads home to her sister in Georgia where Vivian attempts to blend her old life into her new life.

I look forward to reading more by Wendy Wax.

Go Cards! L1C4!!
Profile Image for Lynnie.
582 reviews4 followers
October 23, 2012
If I can't finish it, it only gets one star. It might have been better than that, but to be honest, I don't care. I'm about halfway through & the characters are pretty useless, boring & one-dimensional. The trajectory of the book is predictable. I'm pretty sure I have the whole "mystery" of JJ & Clay figured out (& if I don't, I don't care that I'm wrong). I'm just not interested in picking up the book up & read any further so I won't spend another moment trying to inspire myself when there are better books out there to read.
Profile Image for April.
278 reviews
July 19, 2013
nope nope nope. I really tried. I did. I couldn't take it any more.
Profile Image for Caryn.
817 reviews63 followers
February 22, 2015
2.5. I felt this book dragged and was slow to begin. It all wrapped up in one fell swoop at the same time. I've definitely read better women's fiction.
91 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2022
As a southern belle that lives in East Cobb where this tale is based, I can relate to all the characters (and locations!). This story has southern charm, a little scandal and a lot of love. A fun read that is predictable but enjoyable - I kept wanting to know what happened and that kept me excited until the end. And you can’t go wrong with a story that involves a Wed night belly dancing class - where can I sign up!
91 reviews3 followers
June 16, 2020
Wit and drama and a lot of secrets create quite a page turner. This book is now 10 years old so the reader will note many societal changes between our world then and now but the storyline works and is still unique. Good read for my Stay At Home days.
Profile Image for lisa butler.
33 reviews
April 13, 2019
Cute

I read this book while visiting the south. I enjoyed reading about all of the real issues happening to all of the generations.
Profile Image for Melody.
648 reviews8 followers
April 16, 2010
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.
Profile Image for The Lexington Bookie.
496 reviews17 followers
July 8, 2019
This 400-plus page paperback kept me hooked- I didn't want to put it down, even though I knew I had to at times. It follows main character Vivien Armstrong Gray, a journalist who rebelled against her southern belle upbringing. Fleeing the life she made in NYC with a lot of skeletons in her suitcase, Vivi finds herself sheltered in her sister's home in Atlanta suburbia. Melanie, Vivi's sister, knows this sudden visit is suspicious- her sister was never the family type and only made the occasional holiday appearance. Even when Melanie was in need the most after the passing of her husband J.J., Vivi couldn't seem to handle sticking around for very long.

As Vivi learns to navigate the life of suburbia, she can't help but let her journalistic nature get the best of her. Emerging herself in Melanie's daily life, Vivi seeks out stories for her column and tries to find the truth behind her brother-in-law's sudden death. While taking belly-dancing classes at her sister's dance studio, she learns that there's more going on in suburbia than she expected, and more complicated issues than her alias suggests every week in the paper. When things come to a head by the end of the novel, you can't stop turning the pages.

I give this one a good recommendation for all it's interesting plot twists and entertaining banter between characters. Though I did have a few minor issues with point of view changing abruptly and paragraph breaks inconsistently defining the direction of the story, it wasn't something that I got hung up on long enough to distract me from the action.
Profile Image for Laurel-Rain.
Author 6 books229 followers
April 11, 2010
Wendy Wax has magically turned "Magnolia Wednesdays" into one of those homey, cozy, and totally intriguing peeks into the Southern way of life. For a woman who thought she'd totally escaped that world, Vivien Armstrong Gray finds herself suddenly catapulted back there when she is shot in the derriere while investigating a story. When the video ends up on You-Tube, and her employers think she needs to take a step back and they bring in an "understudy" for her to train, she quits.

Huffily, she takes off for her home in Atlanta, where she moves in with her sister Melanie and prepares to follow her around in suburbia. But first, in the process of quitting, she has taken on a free-lance assignment to write Postcards from Suburbia for her NY newspaper.

On the way out of NY, though, she visits her doctor to follow up on the "wound," and discovers something else unexpected...she is pregnant. Her boyfriend is on assignment in various spots around the world, and she decides not to tell him...not for awhile, anyway.

What does Vivi discover while exploring this "strange land of suburbia"? What happens along the way to totally change her view of almost everything? And in the end, will she finally find her own happiness?

This could have been one of those predictable chick-lit stories, but Wendy Wax has a way of turning a phrase and pulling the reader in. She writes with humor, depth, and insight, which earned five stars from me.
6 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2019
It just ended.

I wanted to like the character of Vivian and to root for her and yet I couldn’t. She couldn’t tell the father of her baby, whom she loved, that he was going to be a dad and she deprived him of seeing his baby born. That action alone kept me from connecting with her. She also didn’t tell him about her new job. Really? This is the man she loves and she won’t tell him about this writing gig?

There was a smaller character of Andrea (I think that’s her name) who was fat and then lost weight but still saw herself as fat and couldn’t tell the man she loved that she was fat at one time. As a therapist I can understand this, though I wanted her to get help or for one of the other characters to address this with her. This plot line was underdeveloped.

But what disturbed me the most was how the book just ended. For example, Vivian’s baby never had a name even though a couple weeks had passed. What? You don’t get to leave the hospital without naming the baby. The author also wrapped up the plot lines too quickly. She spent the entire book focusing on several different story lines, and then in the last few pages, she wrapped them up or she tried to. An example- the story line of Vivian and Stone was rushed. The author finally gets them in the same room and boom, the book ends. I looked for another chapter or even a follow up book to tell me what happened.


Profile Image for Macwolf01 [Elise].
514 reviews50 followers
June 8, 2010
I'd actually give this book 3 1/2 stars but it won't let me. I really like Wendy Wax's writing style and the book was a quick easy read. This story bounces back and forth from the perspectives of 2 sisters. Vivi gets shot in the bum, quits her job in an emotional explosion and then finds out she's pregnant. She heads down to live with her widowed sister and her two teens.

~~~SPOILER~~~
My only complaint with this book is that NO ONE is so completely self delusional about their own life as Vivi is written. She sees and writes about the 'truth' of everyone elses life but when it comes to her own she spends the WHOLE book (until the very end) before she starts to believe that the baby is really coming and that maybe she should have told Stone (her boyfriend of 3 years ... who's in Afghanistan) REALLY NOT BLOODY LIKELY! Otherwise, a pretty good book.
Profile Image for Julia .
1,298 reviews9 followers
May 7, 2010
Vivien Armstrong Gray is reaching that certain decade in broadcast journalism that can be a little difficult to breach. As one of her investigative pieces winds up more popular on You Tube and her body is becoming a hormonal mess, Vivi heads home to Georgia. This suburban life of her sister Melanie is very foreign to Vivi, but the sisters adult relationship eventually begins to flourish. Many of the nuances of any Southern novel are here, but Wax does a gentle job with her characters and they are not typecast. It's always nice to read chick-lit of women of a more realistic age and place in life.
Profile Image for Kelly.
338 reviews2 followers
October 13, 2011
The best part of the book was that it was set around East Cobb and so much was close to home. Both the locations and many of the situations were way too familiar. Light reading
Profile Image for Alicia Jones.
111 reviews
July 11, 2016
I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't have any really high hopes, but was enchanted by the characters. I loved this book!
Profile Image for Alicia.
128 reviews10 followers
January 1, 2019
As if being shot in the rear end while filming a news story isn’t enough, Vivien Armstrong is shocked to find out that she is (at 41) pregnant. But even more shocked to find herself agreeing to work undercover writing a column about what it is like to be a mom in the wealthy suburbs of Atlanta. Not to mention those suburbs are her hometown, complete with her widowed sister, niece, and nephew.

Vivien, writing as an outsider looking in, has no idea that her column will become an instant success. She has no idea that the things that she writes will make her more famous than any of her on-air investigative reporting ever did. She has no idea that the things she will write will nearly destroy the family that she loves. Nor does she have any idea how much she needs the family who loves her no matter what.

What she does learn is that the more she gets to know the people in this little suburb, the harder it is to write about the things they do that the readers in New York find so appalling.

So much of the story takes place around Magnolia Hall, the dance studio owned by Vivien’s sister, Melanie. The dance hall also allows for a lot of the fodder that goes into Vivien’s column, and it is only a matter of time before someone figures out the truth about the author. But will Vivien figure out the truth about herself and her life first? Will she find whatever it is that she needs to make herself happy? Maybe suburbia isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe it’s better.

This is chick lit at its finest. The insight that Vivien and Melanie have about life in the south can only come from a true Southerner. Wendy Wax takes on life in her own Atlanta suburb, shines it up beautifully, adds good old southern charm and humor and makes people take a good long look at exactly what it is that makes the world go around.

If you are looking for a good beach or poolside read, or just something to make you feel better about life in general, Wendy Wax is an author to choose, and Magnolia Wednesdays is a great book to settle in and just enjoy. I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Lisa.
629 reviews3 followers
January 27, 2020
Interesting story. Most of the time in books, everything goes really well in the long run. But not always. Vivian Gray has a great life, a well known investigative journalist, a great boyfriend, wonderful life in New York City. All is great! But her career begins to fall apart, she is humiliated after an investigation caught on tape, she learns why she is hormonal, and so she runs home to Georgia to write a column that she can't put her own name to and live with her sister.

She hasn't always been supportive of her sister or family, so coming back to Georgia is a surprise for her family. Vivian learns about friendships, how to dance, how to drive again, and how to be a good aunt. Throughout the story, other stories are woven in. The heartache of her sister, Ruth's marriage problems, and Angela's past life all play a role in showing us life and how women can really and truly help each other through tough times.

Down South, it's her sister's ballroom dance studio that becomes her undercover spot where she learns about the local life-and where unexpected friendships develop. As she digs up her long buried roots, she starts to wonder if life inside the picket fence is really so bad after all.
Profile Image for DiAnne.
226 reviews12 followers
October 20, 2021
I found this book to be pretty good. It was not near as good for me as previous books I've read by her. In places it seemed a bit predictable and seemed to drag on and on. The characters were pretty well developed but I found them to be a bit lacking compared to previous characters in her other novels. I absolutely loved her novels, "The Break-Up Book Club", and "Ten Beach Road". I still have several more of her novels that I plan on reading so I am not giving up on enjoying her novels. It may have been just the mood I was in that it just didn't click for me. I may try to read it again at a later date.


At forty-one, Vivian Armstrong Gray's life as an investigative journalist is crumbling. Humiliated after taking a bullet in her backside during an exposé, Vivi learns that she's pregnant, jobless, and very hormonal. This explains why she says 'yes' to a dreadful job covering suburban living back home in Georgia, a column she must write incognito.
Down South, it's her sister's ballroom dance studio that becomes her undercover spot where she learns about the local life-and where unexpected friendships develop. As she digs up her long buried roots, she starts to wonder if life inside the picket fence is really so bad after all.
Profile Image for 📚Linda Blake.
550 reviews13 followers
January 14, 2022
Wax has created a truly despicable character in Vivian, and I’m not sure the end of the book indicated any redemption. She was pregnant and didn’t tell her boyfriend, she used her sister’s life in suburbia to create sarcastic newspaper columns, and she delved into secrets which if revealed would be very painful to her sister. The dance group at her sister’s studio created even more scenarios for interference. The characters include Wendy Wax’s typical ensemble: a long term troubled marriage, a rebellious teen, and alienated family members.

Two characters were problematic for me. There is a Black maid, Evangelina, who waits on the privileged whites. She is somewhat well rounded but nevertheless serves at the whim of her white employers. The other troubling character is a formerly heavy woman who sees the secret of her previous body weight as a terrible burden in her relationship with her fiancé. This seems like a contrived first-world problem as do all of Vivian’s problems.
334 reviews5 followers
June 3, 2020
Loved it

I knew this was the book for me when I read the Gray siblings' names - Vivien, Melanie and Hamilton. GWTW is my all time favorite movie, though I shamefully admit never having read the book.

Magnolia Wednesdays is about two sisters getting to know each other as adults. Vivien has always looked down on the "simpler" life of her sister, as she is an investigative reporter for a national news network in NYC. Circumstances send her to the Atlanta suburbs to live with her sister and her children. Without going into detail so that the story is not spoiled, Vivien discovers that lifestyles and choices other than those like hers, are just as busy, messy, meaningful and important. This is a story of self discovery, redemption, friendship and family. It is funny and poignant, two attributes of a great read. Enjoy
Profile Image for BeverlyB.
460 reviews16 followers
March 3, 2021
I very much enjoyed this book -- but maybe not as much as I loved the Ten Beach Road series. Vivian Armstrong Gray (Vivi) is an investigative reporter and is working on an expose when her story goes awry and she gets shot in the butt. Things seem to go from bad to worse--not only does her wounded butt go viral, but she finds out that the network is planning on replacing her with someone younger. She quits before her career can get any worse and then finds out she's pregnant. She turns tail and runs home to her sister's place and thus begins Magnolia Wednesdays.
Melanie and Vivi really don't seem to have anything in common other than a love/hate relationship with their mother. Melanie runs a dance studio, she's a widow, single mother of 2 teenagers and has no idea why Vivi has chosen this time to show up on her doorstep. Vivi and Melanie desperately need each other and they don't even know it! Vivi and Melanie haven't got a clue how their lives are about to change. Change is necessary--but change can be painful.
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