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Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir

by Frances Mayes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2215088,972 (3.73)15
"A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region's powerful influence on her life. The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family. From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies--a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel--to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances's confidant Willie Bell. Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home"--"A memoir of author Frances Mayes's coming of age in the Deep South, and of the region's powerful influence on her life. Mayes delves into the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the force of a chaotic and loving family"--… (more)
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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Absolutely loved it.
I really love the way she writes! Loved her story, her descriptions of everyting and makes you think that EVERYONE should write their own story! (or maybe SHE could write them all!!)

( )
  nwieme | Mar 19, 2020 |
A beautiful memoir about growing up in the south from the author of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. Frances Mayes paints an honest picture of her life and shares lessons that she learned along the way. A great read that's hard to put down!


Bettina P. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
The author of Under the Tuscan Sun describes her childhood in the South and her journey back. A lyrical, candid homage to the past, the complications of family, and the places that define us.

A memoir of author Frances Mayes’ coming of age in the Deep South, and of the region’s powerful influence on her life.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Feb 22, 2017 |
Really enjoyed this memoir by Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun. ( )
  Darwa | Mar 18, 2016 |
Frances Mayes writes beautiful prose that is almost poetry. I read "Under the Tuscan Sun" years ago and now I want to reread it and all the books in between. In "Under Magnolia" she takes me to a different place and time that I only know from stories. ( )
  eliorajoy | Sep 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.
William Faulkner, Light in August
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for my daughter, Ashley
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At a few times in my life, I've not been aware that I've just stepped onto a large X.
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"A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region's powerful influence on her life. The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family. From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies--a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel--to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances's confidant Willie Bell. Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home"--"A memoir of author Frances Mayes's coming of age in the Deep South, and of the region's powerful influence on her life. Mayes delves into the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the force of a chaotic and loving family"--

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