Jennifer's Reviews > Magnolia Wednesdays

Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy  Wax
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's review
May 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: received-for-review, received-in-2010, general-fiction, read-in-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.

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Reading Progress

May 23, 2010 – Shelved
May 23, 2010 – Shelved as: received-for-review
May 23, 2010 – Shelved as: received-in-2010
September 18, 2010 – Started Reading
Finished Reading
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: general-fiction
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: read-in-2010
September 24, 2010 –
page 228
52.17% "Great story so far! I love finding a new-to-me author whose writing I love! :)"
September 25, 2010 –
page 370
September 27, 2010 –
page 432
98.86% "Loved it!"

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