“The Sweet Smell of Magnolia’s and Memories” by Celeste Fletcher McHale
Review copy from BookLook Bloggers
My Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory. The last thing she remembered was being submerged in water. Again.
As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though, is that the man of her dreams is not wearing jeans and flip-flops as he did when he held her through those long nights of the flood. He’s the preacher.As Jacey’s memories come flooding back, it’s almost more than she can take. The fate of the young family trapped with them haunts her. The unwavering honesty—and support—of her best friend Georgia forces her to take a fresh look at herself. She’s spent her life afraid of love. But this flood is opening Jacey’s heart in the most unexpected ways.
This book sounded good from the description, and with its added lovely cover, I requested it for review. And at first I thought maybe I’d enjoy it as a light fluffy read, but as I got even just a couple chapters in, I was disturbed by some of its content. There were a lot of innuendos, crudeness, and a great amount of alluding to swear words. To me it felt very “cheap”. There was very, very little that would classify this book as “Christian Fiction”. Colin was a preacher, but there was really no true “God-like-ness” in this book at all. Even the character, Julie, that was the one to spur him on to pray more said something like “Prayer is just what worked for me- if hanging upside down and chanting works for you, then great!”. “Follow your heart” was another very strong theme, which I disagree with (according to the verse in the Bible that says our heart is very decietful, who can know it?).
There were a couple things I found okay (such as Lillian’s three children – I liked them fine, and Mrs.Ernestine but they were hadly ever in the book). So overall, I was extremely disappointed. There were a lot of inapropriate parts, plenty of ‘make out’ scenes, and nothing pointing towards God.
I couldn’t recommend this as a Christian or even clean read, unfortunately. As Christ Followers, we are to be set apart, and I do not feel like this book was that at all.