I just finished reading Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax.
From Wendy Wax's website:
Sometimes life comes at you in full swing...
At forty-one, Vivien Armstrong Gray spent most of her life fighting to make it in investigative journalism, only to have it crumble after a bullet lodges in her backside during an exposé. As if the humiliation of being the butt of everyone’s jokes isn’t enough, Vivi learns that she’s pregnant, jobless, and very hormonal. Maybe that explains why she actually says ‘yes’ to a dreadful job covering suburban living back home in Georgia, a column she can only bear to write incognito.
Leaving her tiny apartment in New York, she unwillingly heads south to experience the suburban soccer mom existence through her widowed sister’s eyes. Surrounded by mini-vans and bake sales, she has lots of material for the column. Her sister’s ballroom dance studio becomes her undercover spot where she learns about the local life while posing as an ‘extra’ dance partner. But Vivi’s little stint starts throwing her for a loop as friendships develop, and a real relationship with her sister blossoms. As she digs up her long buried roots, and begins to secretly investigate her brother-in-law’s death, she starts to wonder if life inside the picket fence is so bad after all…
Since my undergrad was in broadcast journalism, I am always excited to read a good story about a journalist. If it has a chick-lit theme with a good plot and good characters, that's even better. And Magnolia Wednesdays was just that.
While I didn't completely connect with the main character, Vivi (although I love the teaching job that I have now, it's not my life), I definitely remember how intense broadcast journalism can be and how life-consuming it can be. I loved how Vivi grew into a warm, loving sister and mother. She had setbacks, but in the end she had grown so much.
The other cast of characters were great as well. From Melanie, Vivi's sister and the all-around great single mom, to Ruth, the elderly lady who spent her days in the dance studio and wanted her marriage back to the way it used to be, to Amanda, the bride-to-be who can't get over her formerly obese days, to Shelby and Trip, Melanie's children.
And there was a twist with Vivi's brother-in-law's death that I didn't see coming at all. I had my own theories about what would come out about the death but I was so far off!
This was a heart-warming story and one that I truly enjoyed.
I gave this book a rating of 4.5/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 28
What's In A Name? 3 Challenge: Plant
2010 Chick Lit Challenge: 3
*FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting for an honest review.