Title: Magnolia Wednesdays
Author: Wendy Wax
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
After a humiliating accident (which was caught on tape and posted on YouTube), investigative journalist Vivien Gray flees New York City. She takes refuge in Georgia at her sister Melanie’s place. What’s more, Vivien lost her prestigious job in the aftermath of the accident, and as a result is now writing a scathing incognito column about life in suburbia. But what Vivien doesn’t expect is that there is more to her sister than meets the eye, and more to being a mother than she ever thought possible.
Magnolia Wednesdays was an excellent Southern women’s fiction novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Though it was on the longer side, it was captivating and I didn’t even notice the length, as I was absorbed in Vivien’s story.
Vivien was an incredibly written character who was as endearing and funny as she was frustrating. I loved her at the same time I wanted to wring her neck! Wax wrote her very well, making sure the reader found her lovable, despite her many flaws. Vivien is stubborn, self-centered, and judgmental, but she’s also vulnerable, sweet, and can be very thoughtful. I loved the dichotomy that was present within Vivien – she rang so true for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her. Her character development over the course of the novel really was satisfying and well-done.
Magnolia Wednesdays presents a very interesting view of life in suburbia. When Vivien is looking for material to write her articles, she is judgmental and often cruel. She completely discounts the good aspects of this culture and focuses on the negative. At the same time, however, she does present some interesting criticisms of the more absurd aspects of suburban culture (lawn watering wars, anyone?). While I felt like Vivien’s column’s were harsh and mean, I also thought there was some semblance of truth behind some of them.
I also loved the character of Melanie. She is a widow, strung out and overworked trying to provide for her two children. I loved how she tried to be there for Viv and be supportive, despite the fact that Vivien hadn’t been very good to her in the past. She was selfless and giving, and it was great to watch her evolve over the course of the novel, learning to think about herself more and stand up for herself.
I thoroughly enjoyed Magnolia Wednesdays. The characters were interesting and realistic and the plot line moved quickly and smoothly, ensuring that the reader stayed interested through the course of the novel. I definitely recommend this book for fans of women’s fiction.