My Magnolia Summer

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Victoria Benton Frank’s debut novel, My Magnolia Summer, is a love story about the Lowcountry of South Carolina and the food that makes that region so special.

Maggie has been trying to make a living as a chef in New York City when her sister Violet calls to tell her their beloved Gran has been hospitalized after a car accident. The accident was caused by Maggie and Violet’s mother, Lily, whose lifelong battle with alcohol is at another low point. When Maggie returns, she sees the family restaurant, The Magic Lantern, has fallen into disrepair. Though Maggie never planned to spend her life on Sullivan’s Island, her family needs her, and her skills in the kitchen may be the only thing that can save the family legacy and the family itself.

This book is equal parts self-discovery and kitchen fiction, but there’s something missing in the relationships between the characters. Maggie, born Magnolia, seems to want to be in South Carolina but fights that urge; it’s probably the right plot choice, but it feels at odds with her character. She makes poor decisions in her love life but is precise and creative and insightful in the kitchen. Her choices in the end would have been more interesting had they not been forecast from the very first chapter. Still, if you love Hallmark movies, this book is probably for you.


Reviewed By:

Author Victoria Benton Frank
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publish Date 06-Jun-2023
ISBN 9780063286153
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2023
Category Romance
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Description

Victoria Benton Frank’s debut novel, My Magnolia Summer, is a love story about the Lowcountry of South Carolina and the food that makes that region so special.

Maggie has been trying to make a living as a chef in New York City when her sister Violet calls to tell her their beloved Gran has been hospitalized after a car accident. The accident was caused by Maggie and Violet’s mother, Lily, whose lifelong battle with alcohol is at another low point. When Maggie returns, she sees the family restaurant, The Magic Lantern, has fallen into disrepair. Though Maggie never planned to spend her life on Sullivan’s Island, her family needs her, and her skills in the kitchen may be the only thing that can save the family legacy and the family itself.

This book is equal parts self-discovery and kitchen fiction, but there’s something missing in the relationships between the characters. Maggie, born Magnolia, seems to want to be in South Carolina but fights that urge; it’s probably the right plot choice, but it feels at odds with her character. She makes poor decisions in her love life but is precise and creative and insightful in the kitchen. Her choices in the end would have been more interesting had they not been forecast from the very first chapter. Still, if you love Hallmark movies, this book is probably for you.

Additional information

Author Victoria Benton Frank
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publish Date HarperCollins
ISBN 9780063286153
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2023
Category Romance
Share