Despite being published in 2016, The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines is hitting the Amazon charts at number 12 this week. There has been a ton of momentum around this couple and their product partnership with Target has really taken them from the sphere of HGTV aficionados to main stream America. Even my husband, who watches no TV and doesn’t participate in American pop culture, noticed he was seeing Joanna Gaines everywhere and wanted to know why.
While I love me some good HGTV, the Gaines weren’t really on my radar until a friend gifted me a subscription to The Magnolia Journal this fall. It was such a cozy experience curling up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea and flipping through the beautiful magazine pages. I was hooked and needed to know more. Enter The Magnolia Story.
The book reads like an extended interview with the majority of the content coming from Joanna. Chip chimes in every now and then to add extra details or his take on the story Joanna just told. This adds a lot of fun and color to the story and makes it feel like you’re talking to the couple instead of just reading about them. Different fonts are used to distinguish who is talking, which is helpful, but also confusing when Chip takes over for a few chapters and the fonts are flipped.
Their story is pretty basic (modern) American Dream. Boy meets girl, girl isn’t sure, boy wins girls heart with totally unconventional means, they live happily paycheck to paycheck as blissful newlyweds, Chip’s insanely risky business ventures keep them one step ahead in the real estate game, they have a bunch of babies, make a name for themselves in small town Waco, Texas, land a super successful TV show, make millions of dollars, write a book, write a few more books, launch products at Target.
While the story had potential for high drama with all the risky business ventures and the tv show, things got a bit boring around the 75% mark. At this point, there weren’t very many new stories to tell and they did not discuss their TV very much beyond how they got the show and the parameters set around the show to keep their home life as stable as possible. Joanna’s slightly-complaining-but-really-in-love-with-Chip stories got a little old at this point and started to feel a little inauthentic, like she wanted us all to love Chip as much as she did.
All in all, The Magnolia Story was a super quick read and an enjoyable tale of a married couple supporting each other through their business ventures. A little boring towards the end. I prefer the magazine. 🙂
Until next time, happy reading!