30 April 2015
I love new books from authors that have made me smile in the past. When I got the announcement about the newest book for the virtual book club From Left to Write I was ecstatic! Of course I was dying to read Frances Mayes' newest book, Under Magnolia. Her books about living in Tuscany were enchanting, and I love a good memoir about growing up in the South.
If you've read these book club posts of mine before, you know these aren't about reviewing the book (which I love, so don't worry a review is coming soon on Goodreads) but more about discussions sparked by things in the book. This book was full of so many similarities and brought back so many memories for me.
Late last spring we moved - new town in the mountains, closer to where I grew up. Our "new" house was built in 1938, and it's white brick. Just like the one my great-grandmother lived in when I was a child. And also like hers, it has some seriously mature English boxwoods on the grounds. Greenery doesn't always have a distinctive scent, but these boxwoods do. And no matter where I am, I can smell them and I'm instantly back to my childhood. They smell like home to me: afternoons eating homemade pink angel food cake, the swinging door that divided the kitchen and dining room (another thing our house has in common with my great-grandmother's!), wandering around outside on warm, sunny days and smelling that scent all around. My daughter's room is surrounded by boxwoods - whenever I walk in her room I always have to pause and just drink it in. And I wander our yard at every opportunity, just to be near them. It might seem odd, but I didn't realize how much I missed the smell until they were back in my life!
We've also got a magnolia tree (granted, ours is small, under five years old, and hers was older than old), which I fondly remember inhaling at every opportunity. Those blooms are like nothing else, and the leaves make such beautiful wreaths.
Since we've lived here I've been stopped in my tracks so many times, expecting to hear a familiar voice any moment, or see a face I haven't seen in over 25 years. Smell is a powerful thing..... where does it take you?
This post was inspired by Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes, a memoir of her return to her roots in the South. Join From Left to Write on April 30th as we discuss Under Magnolia As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. but all opinions are my own. Any links to the book within this article are affiliate links.