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Being from the South, "I GET" her. I have read her every published work. I actively look forward to many more, especially hoping for an "Every Day at Chatwood" I love reading her books, but I buy the audible file as well. A couple of her books are not narrated by her, something I hope will be corrected over time.
Frances has the best understanding of "time" than any author I've read. She talks of turning time over, bending time back, and only time providing clues about the real personality of a person you have known for years.
I'll never tire of her stories. They remind me of the old "story talkers" fom my youth. I'd do Martha Stewart Prison time to live next door to she and her husband.
What made the experience of listening to Under Magnolia the most enjoyable?
The beauty of Frances Mayes writing is sensual, searching and compelling.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Under Magnolia?
The most memorable moments were the charged interactions with her father, who was alternately doting and abusive. I also enjoyed the spontaneous scenes. For example, as a teen-ager, she went swimming with a boyfriend, pulled off her suit while submerged and tied it to her foot as she swam to the next shoreline before tugging it back on. Such passages pull one in!
How could the performance have been better?
Frances Maye's writing reveals a passionate and spunky girl coming of age, and her eloquence is delightful. I would have liked to heard this narrated by a skilled voice talent who could have imbued the words with their inherent spark. I found the author's voice to be rather flat and plaintive, belying the verve of her true character.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Sadly, there was little heart in her family. Frances Mayes takes risks and writes of herself and her family members frankly. But the dynamics of despair and blaming cast a pall of inertness, despite the drama of hurtful fights.
Any additional comments?
I'd imagine those who grew up in a family stressed by alcoholism might well appreciate the author's insightfulness. Furthermore, her vivid descriptions evoke the South with warmth, subtlety and spice. Personally, I did not complete the book. My sense was that the author fled the family rather than outgrew it, and her risks are those of impulsivity rather than a process of evolving commitment. That said, she clearly is a disciplined and highly talented writer who grows through exploring her charged back history. If others' endorsement of this book speak to you, I recommend you check it out.