Review: The Magnolia Palace
Author: Fiona Davis
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Source: Book of the Month
For: Book of the Month
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THE MAGNOLIA PALACE tells the story of two women separated by nearly 50 years. 21-year-old Lillian Carter stumbles upon an employment opportunity, but the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family, pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death. Her life falls apart as a looming scandal leaves her entirely without a safe haven. When 18-year-old English model Veronica Weber is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick mansion, she chances upon a series of hidden messages: messages that lead her on a hunt that could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.
I received THE MAGNOLIA PALACE as my January book from Book of the Month. I’ve been excited to read it ever since I read the synopsis and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed.
I was hooked on THE MAGNOLIA PALACE from the get-go. I adored it from start to finish. When I’d put the book down, I’d keep thinking about it and I’d want to pick it right back up again. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.
I really loved the dual timeline. I thought it was the perfect vehicle for the story, especially with the mystery aspect of it. I was more invested in Lillian’s story than Veronica’s. I didn’t dislike Veronica or anything; I was just more interested in the 1919 time period than the 1966 one.
I had no idea that Henry Clay Frick, his daughter, and the Frick Collection were real as I read the story. I didn’t even know that Lillian was based on a model from the 1900’s. I loved reading the author’s note and finding out that Fiona Davis mixed non-fiction with fiction to create the magnificent story that is THE MAGNOLIA PALACE. I don’t know what historians or relatives of the Frick family and the model would think about Fiona Davis’ fiction, but I thought it made for a compelling read.
Ever since I finished reading THE MAGNOLIA PALACE at 2am, I’ve been trying to decide if I want to rate it 4 or 5 stars. I finally settled on 4.5 stars, which might change. One thing is for sure, I’m definitely going to be checking out more of Fiona Davis’ books.
Have you read THE MAGNOLIA PALACE? If so, what did you think?
There is a trigger warning for death of a parent.
Great review! I waffled on this one and didn’t end up choosing it for BOTM. Maybe February!
Thanks! 🙂 Which book did you end up choosing for your BotM?
I chose Love & Other Disasters, Fiona and Jane, and Black Cake. I have not read any of them yet.
Awesome! I haven’t read any of those either. 🙂 I chose The River Enchanted. I was going to get The Love Hypothesis too, but I’m waiting until March.
I knew you’d like this one! I wish I could it a 4.5 stars. I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars as well. I’m excited to see what the 5 books are for February!
It was so good! 😀 I’m glad you liked it too! I normally don’t give half-star ratings, even though I’ve already given three this month, lol. I’d give this 4.5 stars on Goodreads if I could.