BOOK REVIEW Under The Magnolias by T.I. Lowe

This summer read unearthed a range of emotions for me that seldom happens in one novel. Not only do I love magnolias, I grew up on a tobacco farm much like Austin Foster and her family. Unlike me, she grows up while raising her six siblings after her mother dies giving birth to twins. Feisty, intelligent Austin had planned a bright future with hopes for college until she faces a multitude of sacrifices while her father grieved. The struggles increase when  Austin has to cover for her father’s strange behavior. The attention of an attractive young man from a wealthy family would normally constitute a fabulous romance for most teenage girls. But Austin is not like most girls and devotes herself to a new set of priorities she never expected.

This story demonstrates the devotion of family as they care for one another during the darkest of seasons and learn to let others into their life when they need someone to lean on. One of my favorite themes is displayed when members of the community band together. They show what it means to really support each other no matter what.

True friendship and love are communicated clearly in this beautifully written novel. If you enjoy exceptionally well-developed characters and a plot of real-life adventures that explore mental health and family devotion in a beautiful southern setting, this one is for you.

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