I never imagined that T.I. Lowe could possibly outdo herself after the Carolina Coast series, but… Under the Magnolias…wow.
This combination coming-of-age and women’s fiction novel offers a serious look at mental illness in a novel set back in the eighties. That combination of a relatable topic combined with a bit of distance from our time gives us a unique perspective that allows us to take in more than we might have thought possible.
Only a Master Storyteller Handles Mental Illness with Delicacy, Humor, and Grit
Bestselling author T. I. Lowe releases her newest book today. Under the Magnolias is set in South Carolina in 1980. At a time and place where addressing mental health is even taboo than it can still be today, this book shows the real pain endured by those who don’t feel as if they have anywhere to go.
Lowe focuses heavily on trying to answer the question we all have when someone we love or respect gives up completely. Her heart for those who didn’t feel as if they could ask for help shines through every word on the page.
And yet, with such a difficult topic, this book doesn’t weigh heavy on the reader. If anything, it offers hope and promise, with a twist of Lowe’s particular brand of humor.
I gushed about T.I. Lowe ‘s Driftwood Dreams in Episode 15.
Don’t be surprised if another episode follows this one in a few weeks–one of me gushing about this book. There’s just so much to it.
T.I. Lowe even created a Pinterest Board full of fun things from the eighties and things pertinent to her book.
And one of the best things she shared was this fabulous song by Matthew West that really inspired her as she wrote the book.
Under The Magnolias by T.I. Lowe
This night not only marked the end to the drought, but also the end to the long-held secret we’d kept hidden under the magnolias.
Magnolia, South Carolina, 1980
Austin Foster is barely a teenager when her mama dies giving birth to twins, leaving her to pick up the pieces while holding her six siblings together and doing her best to stop her daddy from retreating into his personal darkness.
Scratching out a living on the family’s tobacco farm is as tough as it gets. When a few random acts of kindness help to ease the Fosters’ hardships, Austin finds herself relying upon some of Magnolia’s most colorful citizens for friendship and more. But it’s next to impossible to hide the truth about the goings-on at Nolia Farms, and Austin’s desperate attempts to save face all but break her.
Just when it seems she might have something more waiting for her—with the son of a wealthy local family who she’s crushed on for years—her father makes a choice that will crack wide-open the family’s secrets and lead to a public reckoning. There are consequences for loving a boy like Vance Cumberland, but there is also freedom in the truth.
T. I. Lowe’s gritty yet tender and uplifting tale reminds us that a great story can break your heart . . . then heal it in the best possible way.
Find more about her and her books at tilowe.com