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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Booker, Book for short, is a nurse and a paramedic. After several tragedies on his watch, Book is suffering from nightmares and a rather short temper. It’s his short temper that lands him in trouble when he punches a tormenting doctor, Dr. Winfred Harvey, who has always been a thorn in Book’s side, right inside the hospital where they both work. Book is sent to research the small town of Quitman, Alabama, and find an ideal site to set up an urgent care clinic. The reasoning is to get Book far enough away from the doctor he slugged, and to allow tempers to cool all around. What Book finds in this small town is a whole lot of strange mysticism and a whole lot of sincere faith, the kind that brings angels in the time of need.
B.K. Campbell’s Beneath the Magnolias follows a troubled nurse/paramedic, Book, as he recovers from an unusual stretch of tragedies. The book starts slowly, with an elaborate opening chapter that details the procedures on a rescue mission. Once Book is in Quitman, however, the plot thickens and the characters really come alive. The reader struggles to connect with Book in the beginning, but, placed in a new environment, when Book is faced with all kinds of evil as he confronts his own struggle to believe in the true power of God, the reader feels compelled to join in the battle of good against evil. The climax reached, the resolution is quick, with a few surprises tossed into the mix. Overall, a good read.