THE SWEET SMELL OF MAGNOLIA AND MEMORIES

Celeste Fletcher McHale

Celeste McHale delivers another genuine Southern story in The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories

Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory.

As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though,

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Celeste McHale delivers another genuine Southern story in The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories

Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory.

As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though, is that the man of her dreams is not wearing jeans and flip-flops as he did when he held her through those long nights of the flood. He’s the preacher.

As Jacey’s memories come flooding back, it’s almost more than she can take. The fate of the young family trapped with them haunts her. The unwavering honesty—and support—of her best friend Georgia forces her to take a fresh look at herself. She’s spent her life afraid of love. But this flood is opening Jacey’s heart in the most unexpected ways.

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  • Thomas Nelson
  • Paperback
  • May 2017
  • 320 Pages
  • 9780718039844

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$15.99

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About Celeste Fletcher McHale

Celeste Fletcher McHale lives on her family farm in Central Louisiana where she enjoys raising a variety of animals. Her debut novel, The Secret to Hummingbird Cake, was chosen as a 2016 Winter Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), an award given to a dozen “fresh” Southern books, and was recently named to SIBA’s 2017 Southern Book Prize long list. Her debut was also awarded a Readers’ Favorite® Book Award silver medal. Her hobbies include writing, football, baseball, and spending much time with her grandchildren.

Author Website

Praise

“McHale has a way of creating characters who are believably flawed and human. Her wit and hilarity are perfect matches for the heartfelt romance in this winsome book.”—Publishers Weekly

“The writing is so beautifully done, the prose so delicately chosen, that the book is a treat to savor.”—Romantic Times Book Reviews

Discussion Questions

1. Both Jacey and Georgia help the other see things in their lives that they can’t figure out or admit on their own. Who in your life fills that role? Can you think of any significant steps in your life that you wouldn’t have taken without that friend’s encouragement?

2. Jacey is concerned that the expectations and pressure of being a preacher’s wife would be too much for her. Have there been any times in your life when you feared the expectations of a position or relationship? Were your fears worse than the reality?

3. Have you ever been affected by a natural disaster like a flood? How did you—or your community—respond?

4. Have you or anyone close to you suffered from PTSD? What advice or encouragement would you give to someone who was experiencing it?

5. Jacey ultimately adopts the boys to ensure that they are loved and cared for. Do you know anyone who has adopted a child? Was it a situation of a family specifically looking for a child to love, or more similar to Jacey’s, where they saw a need and realized they could fill it?

6. Do you think the red tape that surrounds adoption is too much, too little, or right on target?

7. Do you think Georgia should have deleted the messages on Jacey’s phone? If you were Jacey, could you have forgiven her for it?

8. Jacey has terrible allergies but doesn’t take the seemingly logical step of keeping an EpiPen with her. Why do you think that is? What things are difficult for you to remember to do even though you know you should?

9. Envision Jacey and Colin’s family three years from now. What do you think it will look like? Where do you think they’ll be?