Bringing Magnolia Home

Bringing Magnolia Home


Fiction - Dystopia
242 Pages
Reviewed on 10/20/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

Bringing Magnolia Home is a fascinating coming of age story unlike any I’ve read to date. Magnolia (Maggie), on her own following a break from a dysfunctional family situation that includes an abusive step-father and an uncaring mother, awakes one morning to a new and scary world. At her bus stop, on the way to work, she meets a young man and together they notice they are the only two humans in the world. As the story moves forward the couple finds others who, like them, initially believed themselves to be alone in a once over populated world. No spoilers… but the story takes an abrupt change of direction a little over halfway through to become a psychological mystery/suspense drama of near brilliance.

With Bringing Magnolia Home, Kitt Hill has demonstrated a talent for storytelling that includes skill in all the basics… plotting, characterization, dialog and the all-important ability to create a sense of verisimilitude that allows readers to suspend any thoughts of disbelief. Her characters, all of them, but especially lead character Maggie, are a cross-section of America that every reader will recognize. How these characters came to impact the story and, in particular, Maggie’s life is the surprise that highlights the near genius plotting of the author. I’ve mentioned “near” twice in this review. Both instances refer to polish that all authors worth their salt eventually develop. Taking nothing away from Bringing Magnolia Home, the novel is a clear indication that Kitt Hill is only a heartbeat away from brilliance and certainly an authoress to follow. All in all, an excellent story that I truly enjoyed.

Grant Leishman

What would you do if you woke up one morning only to discover that everyone (or almost everyone) in the world had disappeared while you were sleeping? This is the dilemma faced by Magnolia (or Maggie, as she prefers to be called) in Bringing Magnolia Home by Kitt Hill. When Maggie prepared herself for work that morning, she had no idea that today would change her entire life forever. It wasn’t until she was sitting at the bus stop and she met Grayson, that the reality of the situation began to dawn on her. Where was everyone? What had happened to the world whilst she was sleeping? So began an epic journey across country as Maggie and Grayson seek answers to what had befallen the world, as well as looking for other survivors. I mean, if two ordinary people like Maggie and Grayson had survived, surely there had to be other ordinary people, like them, who survived also?

Without giving any of the plot away, it is fair to say that Bringing Magnolia Home by Kitt Hill is not everything it initially seems to be. There is a hidden depth to this story that only reveals itself as the tale continues. I liked the character of Maggie. She represented for me the bulk of us ordinary people who live in their own little bubbles, taking little or no notice of who or what is happening around them. Until something momentous happens and suddenly they have to be more aware, more outgoing and more understanding of others. The cast of characters that surrounds Maggie in this story is, if not caricatures, very strongly drawn to represent the different factions in society. We have the lesbians, the black doctor and the racist redneck, showing us both sides of the human character. I found Bringing Magnolia Home a good solid read with an interesting twist.

Angie Gallion Lovell

Kitt Hill’s Bringing Magnolia Home is a novel about a young woman struggling to come to terms with the world around her after life as she knew it implodes. Magnolia (aka Maggie) is a likable girl who felt genuine and familiar. She’s a fighter, an outsider, an outcast with a strong streak of independence. When she finds herself in a changed world, she begins to understand the importance of having other people in her life and learns to rely on the friends she encounters along the way. She meets a diverse cross section of American culture and it is interesting to see the blending of personalities, and backgrounds, working toward a common goal. Hill’s characters are all seen through the filter of her protagonist's eyes and are limited only by Maggie’s perceptions. The storyline is solid and Hill doesn’t leave any gaping holes.

Bringing Magnolia Home by Kitt Hill presents as a post apocalyptic novel, but morphs through the pages into something quite different. It is creatively imagined and is unlike any other book I have read. Hill has a solid skill for description and some of her visuals are truly haunting. There are moments in this book that will stay with me, almost as memory lived. I wish Hill had stayed within that forte, using her skill as a narrator to keep me in the moment of the book, but there are times when she steps back and tells the story from a distance. Hill has good instincts and that comes through in the majority of her writing. Hill does a nice job of showing when she shows and I would love to see what a pass with a solid editor would provide. I suspect it would take Bringing Magnolia Home from a good book to a great book in short order.