April Book Club Feature: Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes

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Spring break is over and my kids are back in school! (Throws confetti) Now I can focus on our first April book club, Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir by Frances Mayes.

As a southerner, I’m always fascinated by others’ experiences in the south.  Those who loved Under the Tuscan Sun and will be entranced by Mayes’ evocative writing and lush descriptions in her memoir. More about the memoir:

From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell.

Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.

Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes

Join From Left to Write book club members on April 30 as we discuss Mayes’ memoir. Pick up your copy of Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir  (now in paperback!) and join us.

ALERT: If you want to reread Under the Tuscan Sun, the Kindle version is only $1.99 right now!

Follow Frances Mayes via her website, Facebook and Twitter.