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Magnolia Nights

Magnolia Nights

Blurb

Magnolia Nights is the latest in a long line of brilliant Southern fiction from Ashley Farley. Even though I loved The Sweeney Sister series I have to say this book was even better.

At the start of Magnolia Nights Ellie is still reeling from a recent breakup when she learns she has inherited a house in Charleston. Ellie hadn’t seen her Grandmother for more than 30 years so she is perplexed at her Grandmother’s decision to leave everything to her.

Ellie doesn’t remember much from that time. All she knows is that she has repressed her memories over the years because of something traumatic and that years of therapy have done nothing to dislodge her memories.

Upon entering the house strange things occur that make Ellie wonder if her Grandmother is haunting the house.

However, these concerns are soon forgotten when she discovers her mother’s old journals and suggestions that something traumatic may have occurred in the house to make her forget her early years.


Our Review

Magnolia Nights is the latest in a long line of brilliant Southern fiction from Ashley Farley. Even though I loved The Sweeney Sister series I have to say this book was even better.

At the start of Magnolia Nights Ellie is still reeling from a recent breakup when she learns she has inherited a house in Charleston. Ellie hadn’t seen her Grandmother for more than 30 years so she is perplexed at her Grandmother’s decision to leave everything to her.

Ellie doesn’t remember much from that time. All she knows is that she has repressed her memories over the years because of something traumatic and that years of therapy have done nothing to dislodge her memories.

Upon entering the house strange things occur that make Ellie wonder if her Grandmother is haunting the house.

However, these concerns are soon forgotten when she discovers her mother’s old journals and suggestions that something traumatic may have occurred in the house to make her forget her early years.

One of the things I love about Ashley Farley’s writing is her ability to describe a scene so vivid you feel you are there. For example, when she describes the old house in the paragraph below:

“Ellie approached the antebellum mansion with caution. Thirty-four years had passed since she had last been here. Time had not been kind to the house, as evidenced by the paint peeling in sheets of the wood siding and rotten newel posts on the first -and second-floor porches.”

A lot of work needs doing in the old house which is likened to Dracula’s castle by one of the characters in the book. It is a daunting task for Ellie to begin with and she is unsure whether it is too big a task for her.

One thing that troubles Ellie in the beginning are the memories dislodged from being in the house. For example, who is the girl with the dark, curly hair who she hides behind a door with from someone or something. Who is she? Is she part of the traumatic memory she is trying to suppress?

I love the supernatural elements to the book. I have always loved a ghost story so the spooky element of this book really appealed to me. I particularly liked the information Maddie passes on to her about ghosts.

“We must take the spirit of the newly departed seriously. The Gullah people believe that a spirit aint at rest until it passes into the afterworld. Missus Pringle and I have a battle going on over that door. I open it, and she closes it again, sometimes six or eight times a day.”

My favourite character in Magnolia Nights was Maddie and I felt like I finished the book wanting to know more about her. I liked her superstitions and the way she tried to care for Ellie when she was younger.

“The housekeeper had paid special attention to the skinny little girl with strawberry-blonde pigtails. She’d bandaged her boo-boos, nursed her when she got sick, and snuck her treats from the kitchen – brownies and fudge and frosted cookies.”

I cannot think of a thing that I disliked about this book. It had everything – drama, romance and a supernatural element. I highly recommend it.

Magnolia Nights was a beautiful book and I really felt a connection with the characters. I have my fingers crossed that this won’t end up being a stand-alone series. 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 5/5

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