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“Let’s just step on the wind and
let it take us where we should be.” 
--Roberto Kingsley

“An anthropologist is someone who discovers life by
immersing herself/himself into the unknown world of others.”
– a definition

This book is “peachy keen” to quote our heroine.

In Magnolia, Maria Mitchell has created a great character. A steel magnolia – pun intended! – from New Orleans, with a smart mouth, generous heart and adventurous spirit. This is her story and she’d be the first to tell you that she’s led an interesting life worth reading about.

The story is charming and enchanting, and a quick read. Mitchell breaks the story towards the end into two juxtapose parts – Magnolia’s college adventure and Bobby’s (her sweetheart) trip to Spain. The addition is a bit jarring but it’s great to see how Bobby comes into his own in Spain. And, the ending reunites them for a festive happy ending.

SUMMARY: Magnolia St. Claire is born in New Orleans. As an only child on both sides, she was born to be spoiled. Her parents divorce when she is five. Magnolia is wise for her age and accepting of ghosts, Gypsies and spirit guides. She meets her soulmate, Bobby, at six. They become inseparable. BBFs from the start, and boyfriend-girlfriend as they grow older. Together, Magnolia and Bobby go on many adventures around town, in the woods.

Then Bobby discovers the guitar. His passion for music makes Magnolia jealous so she sets out to discover her own passion, and finds it during a trip to New Orleans’ sister city of Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan province. A fateful trip at 14 convinces Magnolia to study anthropology. She falls in love with Mexico and the Mayan culture. She is convinced that her destiny lies in Merida.

After high school graduation, Bobby follows his dream to Spain to learn to play Flamenco. He has the “duende” within – the desire, the gift. As luck would have it, he quickly meets the right people, the right teachers, and joins the exclusive world of Flamenco. His popularity grows and Roberto Kingsley is reborn, but he never forgets his love for Magnolia.

Meanwhile, Magnolia sets off for college to study anthropology. At first, she ignores Bobby’s calls but she soon forgives him as she recognizes the same passion within herself. For her last two years of college, Magnolia travels back to Merida to intern for El Mundo de Mexico-Mujeres de Historia.

Her first assignment changes her life forever. She is given “The Memoirs of Solita” to translate, as the college explores Solita’s deserted hacienda, which dates back to the 1850’s during the Maya Castle War. Magnolia makes a connection with Solita and falls in love with the house. At last, she finds her true destiny. Magnolia and her family buy the hacienda and turn it into a five-star hotel. Bobby proposes and she says yes. The lovebirds get married at their new hacienda, with their family and friends in attendance. And, so their new adventure begins.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Maria Mitchell is an author and an artist.  She is working on a sequel to MAGNOLIA. Learn more about her works at

**This book was provided by the author.**


We need more stories with STRONG women. Viva Maria Mitchell!!