Four Among the Fair Magnolias

Magnolia trees are very common in the southern states of the United States, and with a title as "Among the Fair Magnolias", one would easily tie the setting to somewhere in the south.  "Among the Fair Magnolias" is a collection of four separate historical novellas, all set in the south within a decade before or after the war between the states, better known as the Civil War.  Each novella are written by a best-selling Christian novelist, (Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser) with themes of freedom from love, from honor, from the past or freedom of self. 




Each story is a beautiful journey we share with a Southern woman, as we read through their story. 


To Mend a Dream by Tamera AlexanderSavannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home.So when the new owner Aidan Bedford seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front—this time, a battle of the heart. 
An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley GraySeven years ago Russell Champion was betrayed by the two most important women in his life. Now Russell returns home, but is it too late to make amends with his mother and find closure with his true love? 
A Heart So True by Dorothy LoveAbigail Clayton hopes to reconcile with Dr. Wade Bennett and become his wife. But her father insists she marry her distant cousin Charles Kittridge so the plantations of the two families will be joined. With her wedding looming, Abby must choose between duty to her family and the yearnings of her own heart. 
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth MusserEmily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis, but she cannot marry a man who doesn’t share her strong convictions about the freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect of becoming his wife is not only improbable—it is completely impossible.

I've been reading a lot of novella collections lately due to my schedule, and I am happy to read a collection that truly gives readers a sense of closure.  Since each is a novella, I came in hoping that each will conclude with a sense of "artistic" resolution.  It may not be a conclusion I, as a reader desire, but it needs to provide my heart a conclusion without further speculation. Otherwise, what is the point of a novella? Why not write a full novel?  With "Among the Fair Magnolias", each story relates to the main characters' struggles in a turbulent era to find love and freedom of self.  By the end of each story, we understand and have journeyed with this or these characters to what we see as a ending to this chapter of their lives.  If it was in real life, it will continue with a time of new beginnings.    
I've read novels by Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray and Dorothy Love, but have yet the pleasure of reading something from Elizabeth Musser.  I am glad to have finally read one of Ms. Musser's works in "Love Beyond Limits" from this collection.  With this story, I see that Ms. Musser, like the other 3 authors are not afraid to touch topics that are sensitive and have done her research for her works.  I look forward to reading her other novels as well.  If you are a fan of any of these gifted women, you will not be disappointed with "Among the Fair Magnolias". The title provides a calmness to me when I first picked it up (ironic as it is, since the stories are set in such tumultuous times).  Is it the image of shading under a big and beautiful magnolia tree that calms me? Or is it just the idea of reading a collection written by inspiring authors with God's presence?  Whatever it is, I hope this story will provide insight to the struggles in your heart for whatever freedom you desire. 

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson through Litfuse Publicity Group for an honest review. 

CONVERSATION

11 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to reading this one!

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    1. Oops. Missed this one. Sorry. Definitely worth a read. :)

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  2. I love Civil War era stories and these four sound really good.

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    1. It is really good. All four authors captured the south and its struggles during those times.

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  3. Would really like to read this collection it sounds fantastic.

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  4. I loved this book, best collection of novellas I have ever read!

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  5. I know! It's a great collection. I loved every story. =)

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  6. Love novels set in the south!

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  7. I do like.. settings in the South!
    It's in my TBR stack :)

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  8. I know Tamara's novels are always set in the south. Love them!

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