Daily Review: Magnolia House by Angela Barton
October 7, 2019
The story frequently swings between heart squeezing and wittily amusing within the same scene.
Rowan Forrester has it all: the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business—and even the dream home, after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse at an auction.
But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes tragically crashing down around her, and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.
To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates to fill her now-empty dream home—and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings.
But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?
Magnolia House is everything Rowan Forrester and her husband could have ever wished for in a home! With rooms perfect for living and for working, Magnolia House was meant to be the start of a wonderful future, the newest chapter in an already happy marriage.
Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t always dance to the same tune as our wishes and within weeks of moving in, Rowan finds herself very much alone and unsure of her future.
Not willing to turn her life upside down yet again, Rowan decides to renovate Magnolia House making it suitable for both herself and renters. Bringing strangers into her home is a scary prospect, but for once, the universe seems to be on Rowan’s side.
While visiting her parents in France, she inadvertently runs into (literally!) Ace, a wonderfully happy, energetic, and enthusiastic man who happens to be looking for a new place to call home back in jolly old England.
One suite down, one to go . . .
Angela Barton is my new favorite author. I adored her sagacious use of clever levity, which handily balanced out the heavier storylines that were fraught with tension, angst, and indecision.
The busy plot was highly active, well populated, shrewdly paced, and held my interest throughout with several intriguing concerns and relevant issues.
Ms. Barton’s writing was unfailingly engaging and tapped all the feels, frequently swinging between heart squeezing and wittily amusing within the same scene.
Her characters were uncommonly and deeply flawed yet they were also uniquely endearing, well drawn, and well-meaning while striving for betterment, although I might have wanted to give several of them a few sassy pinches at various times; except for Ace, who was the perfect comedic foil and had all the best lines and cleverest quips.
Rowan Forrester and her husband, Tom, buy a large Georgian townhouse in London after they put in the winning bid in an auction. While the house needs a lot of work, to Rowan and Tom it’s perfect – the location is awesome for Tom because it’s near his sister, and it’s great for Rowan because it’s near her best friend, Libby. Rowan is pregnant and her jewelry business is just about to launch. Everything seems just so perfect.
Then, suddenly, everything goes wrong. Rowan’s life is turned upside down and life as she knows it completely changes. She’s forced to open the doors of the Magnolia house and take on roommates.
She never thinks about how this would affect the rest of her life. In all honesty, Rowan’s situation made me feel bad for her and I thought she kind of got the shaft.
Rowan’s first roommate was “Ace” (Mason), the flamboyant gay owner of a second hand clothing shop and he’s such a great character! Rowan seems to be pulling her life back together and things seem to be getting better.
The author definitely addresses some real issues in Magnolia House such as betrayal, depression and even infertility.
On the flipside, the story is also about love and friendship. The characters are well developed and believable, and the story was great! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Ms. Barton’s next novel!