Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley

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Book Review of Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley

From the author of the bestselling Sweeney Sister Series and Sweet Tea Tuesdays comes a new novel of passion, intrigue, and redemption.

Ellie Pringle has spent endless hours and countless dollars working with a therapist to remember the lost years of her childhood. She’s baffled and more than a little intrigued when the grandmother she hasn’t seen in thirty-four years dies and leaves her a fortune.

The time has come to face her past in person. Still reeling from a recent breakup of a long-term relationship, and with nothing to keep her in San Francisco, Ellie packs her meager belongings and boards a plane for the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Standing in the entryway of her grandmother’s antebellum home on South Battery Street in Charleston, Ellie faces the first of many ghosts who will soon haunt her. On her first night in the creepy, creaking mansion, as she’s perusing the titles in a dusty bookcase, she comes across her deceased mother’s leather-bound journal.

Her mother’s words create more unanswered questions and send her on a quest to find more journals. As Hurricane Irma bears down on the South Carolina coast, Ellie encounters Julian Hagood, a handsome architect who has the talent to restore her dilapidated mansion and the charm to mend her broken heart. But as Ellie reads her mother’s diaries, they dislodge a stone in the wall that safeguards her memories, causing her world to come crumbling down. Revelations about her childhood lead Ellie on a harrowing journey of discovery that will hold readers spellbound until the dramatic conclusion.

Magnolia Nights is a wonderful story that takes us through three generations of women set in beautiful southern town, with large antebellum homes and a mystery to uncover all wrapped up together, and Farley’s writing pulled me in the start. After the few chapters, I knew this was going to be one of those books I couldn’t put down.

Ellie has recently inherited her Grandmother’s rather large estate in Charleston. She hasn’t seen nor heard a single word from this women since she was a child, so it was all really stranger to her. Now, Ellie doesn’t remember much from her childhood before she went to live with her father, and some of what she does remember though is filled with fear and events that seem to be a blur.

No matter what therapist she went to, it was like her mind didn’t want her to know. Some of her memories don’t make sense, so of course she goes to Charleston, against her father wishes to find out why this women has left her all the estate. When she arrives, her memories do start to resurface when she begins settling in the house.

The characters were well developed, Ellie especially, she had been through things as a child that she didn’t even know about. She had this independence about her that I admired. It took a lot of strength to pack up and move across country to a home that held the truths behind her childhood. Ellie determination kept her looking for whatever answers she could get to piece her life together. Her father was caring, and he loved her.

He wasn’t aware of the events that happened to her either, but he also didn’t want her to have any more pain than she already did. This was a great cast of characters, now there were some that I just wanted to smack some sense in, and then there some who I enjoy immensely.

The chapters are alternating between a few of the characters, which I think was a brilliant way to see every side of this story. It gave little clues here and there and when what really happened in that house was revealed, they were all shocked. I know I was! They were left wondering how could this possible happen? How do we all move on, or can we?

During all of this Ellie does meet Juan, and there is a hint of romance, it sweet and sensual and he stood by her though all the turmoil. How could I not just adore him. The ending was sorta bittersweet and that is all I will say, but it did leave some room for more, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Magnolia Night was engrossing story of a family plagued with secrets and betrayals and learning to forgive and love again. It is one that I can’t recommend high enough. Pick it up…

Buy Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley on Amazon

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