Reading is something that has become quite a luxury these days as I walk through life as a busy, working mom. But, as I mentioned in my most recent book review, Running Home, I was able to squeeze in a few books. One of them was a gift from my mom and it was The Magnolia Story. We’re very lucky that both my mom and dad come over for supper every Tuesday and often they will see our television set to HGTV. It’s usually on just in the background, but if by chance Fixer Upper is on, we pay a little closer attention.
We had talked about Chip and Joanna, as they were receiving some criticism in the media for their faith and beliefs. I told my mom that it was something that I loved most about them, so she knew that I would love their story.
The Magnolia Story is a fast, casual, and humorous story. It’s almost a conversation between Chip and Joanna, although Joanna definitely does most of the “talking.” It’s a recap of the couple’s relationship stepping us back in time to the very day that they met and how they started dating and ending with how they landed a popular TV show on HGTV.
Did you know that neither Joanna or Chip were never formally trained in construction, interior design, or real estate? I didn’t either, until I read their story. This is a beautiful story about two people coming together honoring their faith and each other, while creating beautiful things along the way — including four children in a short period of time.
What I loved about the book (and Chip and Joanna):
- I loved that their voices in the book matched their voices on T.V. It felt authentic and instead of “meeting” them for this first time it felt like I was just getting to know them better.
- They share their failures as well as their successes, which makes them real and relatable.
- Chip is fearless. He’s able to take on new challenges and take new risks without being afraid. He knows he has a partner who will always be there for him. I found myself incredibly motivated by his faith, guts, and fearlessness.
- They work HARD. Very hard. What we see on T.V. is just a sliver of everything they have their hands in. There is a lot of “behind the scenes” work that needs to be done for them to continue and build their Magnolia enterprise.
- They truly love each other, their family, and the people in their life. They treat people with dignity and respect. There was a time when they were on the brink of bankruptcy and they came into some money from an investment. They spent every single penny to ensure that their vendors and contractors got paid leaving them with nearly nothing. But, it was important to them to take care of their “people.” I loved that.
- Chip and Joanna are both proud of their faith and aren’t afraid to talk about it.
What I didn’t love:
- There is a third author to the book. I found myself second-guessing the book, and wondering where this third writer was writing and where they were writing.
- Joanna willingly admits the trials of being a mom of four and does offer some helpful tips, but I would have loved for her to dive even more into that area.
- They are just too perfect together! I really do love that they love each other so much, but I think they would definitely be the couple that everyone is jealous of!
If you’re already a fan of the show Fixer Upper, I would definitely recommend this book. If you’re looking for some motivation to get going on a project or a dream I would definitely read this book. Happy reading!
Blessings to you and your family!
Three items I’m grateful for:
- Peach tea lemonade
- My new barre class