The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia Story

This eBook includes the full text of the book plus an exclusive additional chapter from Chip and Joanna that is not found in the hardcover!Are you ready to see your fixer upper?These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions...

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Title:The Magnolia Story
Author:Chip Gaines
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Magnolia Story Reviews

  • Victoria

    I will state right up front that I came late

    I will state right up front that I came late to the Fixer Upper party, but now that I’m here, I’m like that drunk uncle who won’t leave and is just making a slobbery mess of himself. I am addicted to the show and I can’t get enough of the Gaines. This delightful couple was featured on a segment of CBS’ Sunday morning programming and I couldn’t believe I’d missed the phenomenon that is The Magnolia Story as I live and breathe the world of design. In any case, as soon as I saw they had a book out I queued up for another installment of the Chip and Joanna life.

    As the summary suggests, this is a walk down memory lane for the Gaines couple starting with the pivotal moment that changed their lives while shooting the pilot for their now successful series, then moving back in time from their first meeting through all their travails and then circling back to the present. Their authenticity comes through every page as they continually marvel at how they arrived at where they are today. And you believe them when they say it’s not about fame or fortune, it’s about achieving their dream of living on a farm, doing work they love, raising their kids and lifting up a town.

    This is not literature or an authorial memoir, it is a book filled with reflections and a good story about good people who worked hard, loved and believed in one another and with great faith and perseverance, have managed to turn their town of Waco, Texas into a tourist destination. All the while also lifting up their friends’ businesses as they incorporate their artistry into the show.

    For those with a sensitivity to mentions of God this might cause some discomfort. They’re not pushing Christianity, but they do have an abiding faith. While I’m not religious, I do have a strong belief so I have a flexible attitude toward anyone on the continuum and I found their transparency refreshing. All in all, these were nice people to spend a few hours reading about and I wish them all their future success.

    And that’s as uplifting a message as any of us need right now!

  • Cheri

    I ran across the show Fixer Upper when I was recovering from surgery sometime after their first season, it gave me something to dream about, all the things I wished I could do in my home, if I just had Chip and Joanna’s help. I knew they’d recently come out with a magazine, and I’d frequented their website a few times.

    The things that I find entertaining, endearing sometimes, are how “normal” they are. Neither comes from a well-to-do family, but clearly from loving families. They are as Ozzie an

    I ran across the show Fixer Upper when I was recovering from surgery sometime after their first season, it gave me something to dream about, all the things I wished I could do in my home, if I just had Chip and Joanna’s help. I knew they’d recently come out with a magazine, and I’d frequented their website a few times.

    The things that I find entertaining, endearing sometimes, are how “normal” they are. Neither comes from a well-to-do family, but clearly from loving families. They are as Ozzie and Harriet or June and Ward Cleaver or Mike and Carol Brady as one can be in real life, except Chip likes to occasionally pretend he can still do the things he did as a buff teenager, mostly, I tend to think, to make people laugh.

    When my friend (and goodreads friend) Victoria reviewed this, I knew I would read it sooner than later. I’m glad I did. With a few books with heavier topics behind me and a few ahead of me, I wanted a nice read not overly filled with pain and suffering.

    It isn’t that the Gaines have never had tough times, it’s how they pull together rather than point fingers and blame when those tough times hit or are looming. Their faith plays a strong role in their life, and it is mentioned, but not in a pushy way, and it is relatively infrequent, considering. You see their faith most often in how they’ve managed to make it through tough times.

    As Victoria says in her review, this is their walk down Memory Lane, from the first words Chip spoke to Joanna to her reactions, what they were like in those just-out-of-University years. And how they seemingly magically ended up having this television show, and their perfect life, and how amazingly grateful they are, and how they show their gratitude. And share it in surprising ways.

    I can’t compare this with some of the finer novels I’ve read this past year, and it doesn’t really fit the bill as the typical memoirs I’ve read of late. It’s hopeful, and filled with love and life and joy despite the obstacles, but it is as real as real can be.

    Many thanks, again, to Victoria, for pointing this book out to me. Her review:

  • Sue

    I'm a huge fan of

    , so I was looking forward to reading Chip and Jo's memoir more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I found it neither uplifting nor inspiring - nor even particularly interesting. And sadly, it tarnished for me their

    image as a couple - not sure I'm going to enjoy watching the show nearly as much as I used to.

    It's not that the book reveals heinous deep-dark secrets from their past; quite frankly, the book is largely a fluff piece, barely touching upon so

    I'm a huge fan of

    , so I was looking forward to reading Chip and Jo's memoir more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I found it neither uplifting nor inspiring - nor even particularly interesting. And sadly, it tarnished for me their

    image as a couple - not sure I'm going to enjoy watching the show nearly as much as I used to.

    It's not that the book reveals heinous deep-dark secrets from their past; quite frankly, the book is largely a fluff piece, barely touching upon some of the struggles they faced and breezing over any dark-night-of-the-soul moments. But some of what's discussed just doesn't gel with their on-screen personas. For example, Chip has a tendency to sell the family's home on a whim and buy random flip projects for them to renovate and move into - all without discussing with Joanna. According to the book, Jo's response is always to cry for a few moments, then get on board with Plan Chip because Chip knows best. And the book presents these episodes as periods of growth and improvement for Chip and Jo as a couple, for their family, and for their business. If I'm being honest, every single one of these accounts turned my stomach. This wasn't a couple working together as partners - it was an irresponsible, selfish man-child doing what he wanted and leaving his wife and family to make the best of his choice. And every time Joanna justified Chip's unilateral decisions, it smacked of some weird combination of Stockholm syndrome / Battered Wife syndrome (though obviously on a far lesser scale).

    My other major problem was the book's message - that if you work really hard, all your dreams will come to fruition. In this day and age, that's a ridiculously facile, almost insulting statement. Throughout the United States and around the world, there are millions of families and individuals busting their asses and failing to even keep their heads above water, much less realize their dreams. But the hard work mantra is particularly difficult to take when you read how much help (divine and otherwise) the Gaines family had in their path to the top. I definitely don't mean to imply that Chip and Joanna haven't worked hard for their success - far from it. It was sometimes difficult to keep track of all the various irons they had in the fire at any one time. But most people don't have parents who can afford to go in with them on land deals or random acquaintances willing to cut them a six-figure check at a moment's notice or landowners who spontaneously decide to sell their properties well below their asking costs. To say the Gaines have led a charmed life would be a massive understatement.

    I do respect Chip and Joanna for their commitment to their community. They've used their success to give back to Waco and to foster the careers of other area artisans. I think they're talented individuals who cleverly integrated their skills to form an appealing business and brand. But they've been extraordinarily lucky / blessed along the way, and it's this more than anything else that's led to their success. The book, however, downplays these incredible turns of fortune, placing the reins of success firmly in Chip and Joanna's hands. As an inspirational story, it therefore falls flat. And as a memoir, it fails to dig deeply enough into the lives and mindsets of its subjects. I'm not exactly sure what I wanted this book to be; I just know it failed to deliver on all fronts.

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