Book Summary (Goodreads)...Truett’s hometown needed a doctor, so after finishing medical school, he returned to Bethel Springs. Fighting a secret war with a corrupt lawman wasn’t in his plans, but Sheriff Suggs thinks he’s above the law and can lynch anyone who crosses him. When Suggs threatens his childhood friend, Truett dons a cape and hood and rescues him—placing “the Hooded Horseman” in Sheriff Suggs’s crosshairs.
Celia Wilcox arrives in Bethel Springs, Alabama, in June of 1880. She’s come from Nashville to help her sister care for their younger siblings. She hopes only to be on the small farm for the summer, just until her mother recovers from the shock of Celia’s father’s death. She must return to Nashville to fulfill her dream of opening her own dress shop, especially now, to provide for her family.
The lovely Celia catches Truett’s eye, and he finds himself wanting to impress her. But she flatly refuses to flirt with him or to fall for his—if he does say so himself—considerable charm.
Celia’s growing attraction to the young Dr. Beverly terrifies her, and even if she could marry him, which she cannot, what will happen when Sheriff Suggs discovers Truett is the Hooded Horseman? Will Celia be able to prevent the sheriff from carrying out one last lynching?
My thoughts.... Magnolia Summer has all the features of a good story: good character and plot development, interesting plot twists, and romantic tension. I love all of those things when I read a novel. This novel has an element that goes beyond your typical plot. I could sense it as I reading, but when I read the author's personal notes at the end it really spoke to me. It was the author's heart and motive that made this story special.
I, like the author, am from the South. Unfortunately, there is a long history of racial tension and prejudice that continues on today. In this novel, the hero fights against injustice and brutal treatment of his African American friends and fellow members of his community. He does this even though his reputation could be damaged and he could face physical harm. His actions, along with the actions of several characters in the story, truly embody the verse in the Bible, "Greater love has no man than this, than he who would lay down his life for his friends." And for me, this is the beautiful theme of this novel. Showing love to our fellow brothers and sisters, no matter who they are, no matter the cost. This theme really moved me more than anything else in the novel.
**I am thankful for a copy of this novel from the author and I was happy to give an honest review.**