Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by Celeste Fletcher McHale

I thought the synopsis of this book was intriguing: man and woman meet on a rooftop during an epic flood, fall in love quickly and deeply, but get separated. She has amnesia. He can't find her. They don't meet again until a year later when he is the minister at a wedding she's a bridesmaid in. 

Unfortunately, I didn't really like it. The writing itself was fine, the characters were likeable - even funny at times. I liked the secondary character of Georgia more than the main characters. She was hilarious. But the plot was really weak. I can't stand plot lines that center around misunderstandings - and that's largely what this one was. I was also disappointed in the romance element. We didn't get to experience the characters falling in love. We were told that they fell in love on the roof during the flood, but that's all in the past by the time the book begins. And then they're apart for the majority of the book, pining for each other. They actually have very little interaction throughout the story.

Colin and Jacey each had their own mini-plot during the course of the story, but their resolutions were extremely predictable and largely without turmoil.

I also found the Christian elements kind of odd. I'm not sure if this book is billed as inspirational fiction, but there was very little mention of God. The only prayer offered is in jest. At the beginning, when Jacey finds out Colin is a minister, she freaks out about having to act religious and give up her short skirts and margaritas. Nothing ever comes of it, but there's also no discussion of grace or true faith or how her attitude about ministers is legalistic and untrue. And then his occupation is forgotten for the rest of the book!

Overall, it was kind of a strange and disappointing read.

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.*

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