Celeste Fletcher McHale’s “The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories” is a sweet story of love, forgiveness, redemption and coming home.
A year after being stuck on a roof during a devastating Louisiana flood, writer Jacey Lang is still suffering from post-trauma anxiety, suffering panic attacks and patchy amnesia. The only good things to come out of the traumatic experience? Meeting single mother, Lillian, and her adorable children, and meeting Colin Jennings — a man Jacey falls in love with after three days.
Unfortunately, after being rescued and being forced to leave Colin behind, Jacey, Lillian and the boys suffer a devastating accident — leaving Jacey in the condition she currently finds herself, and wondering whatever happened to Colin.
When Jacey and Colin, now a minister, surprisingly reunite at a wedding, the two attempt to pick up their relationship where it left off a year ago. And when Jacey learns that three of Lillian’s sons are now in foster care, Jacey begins a campaign to adopt these three adorable boys — offering them love and security.
What follows is a story that cautions us against letting misunderstandings and assumptions rule our lives. It dives into dealing with anger, resentment and forgiveness, and encourages us to embrace life. It helps us remember to trust the plan for our lives, even when you can’t see that plan; and to focus on the things to be thankful for in our lives, and not to just focus on the things that test us.
A small word of caution, there is some mild innuendo during conversations, as well as some alcohol use in “The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories.”
You will love not only Jacey and Colin, but her quirky roommate Georgia, and Lillian’s adorable sons.
The book at first came off as a typical romance novel, with a slightly slow start. So at first I would have given it a four out of five stars. But the end was full of love and grace and sacrifice and the beauty of family coming together, so I would give the end five stars. So, with that said, I’d give this book:
Four and a half stars out of five.
Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.