• Under the Magnolias

  • By: T.I. Lowe
  • Narrated by: Susan Bennett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (954 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This night not only marked the end to the drought, but also the end to the long-held secret we’d kept hidden under the magnolias.  

Magnolia, South Carolina, 1980
Austin Foster is barely a teenager when her mama dies giving birth to twins, leaving her to pick up the pieces while holding her six siblings together and doing her best to stop her daddy from retreating into his personal darkness. 

Scratching out a living on the family’s tobacco farm is as tough as it gets. When a few random acts of kindness help to ease the Fosters’ hardships, Austin finds herself relying upon some of Magnolia’s most colorful citizens for friendship and more. But it’s next to impossible to hide the truth about the goings-on at Nolia Farms, and Austin’s desperate attempts to save face all but break her.  

Just when it seems she might have something more waiting for her - with the son of a wealthy local family who she’s crushed on for years - her father makes a choice that will crack wide-open the family’s secrets and lead to a public reckoning. There are consequences for loving a boy like Vance Cumberland, but there is also freedom in the truth. 

T. I. Lowe’s gritty yet tender and uplifting tale reminds us that a great story can break your heart...then heal it in the best possible way.

©2021 T.I. Lowe (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Under the Magnolias

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Geared towards preteens and Christians

I felt it was somewhat juvenile for me. And I’m not a Christian so the God stuff was not my cup of tea but I guess it was ok for one of those types.

40 people found this helpful

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Super narrator.Quick read Now go hug a kid.

You never know what is going on in other people’s homes. After listening to this, you just want to open your home to anyone/everyone who needs help. “Vance” is too good to be true, Austen is the family glue, each kid has a unique problem; and it all takes place in a town that has neighbors that get involved.

I’ve got one question though: who gave the family the pig??? (I must have missed this.)

Similar to Francine Rivers in writing styles with some religious undertones.

29 people found this helpful

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Living with Mental Health <great insight>

The narrator is an extremely voice talent. The story, though hard to swallow at points is engaging. It would be a very good story for anyone who had lived with a mental illness or a loved one with mental illness. The writer will cause you to do some self reflection and walk away from the story a better person. I truly recommend this book!

26 people found this helpful

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Great Book

I loved this book. Great story line for a Christian Fiction, and a great love story too.

26 people found this helpful

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Narrator… speaks…. Slowly

I stayed with the story because I was drawn in and wanted to know what would happen. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a southerner who lives in the south. But if our conversations happened in the cadence the narrator uses, the conversations from 1990 still would be going on today. Also, some of the male characters are hard to distinguish.

Otherwise, the story is inventive and deals with mental illness in a parent and the impact that has on the whole family. The characters are colorful.

My advice: You might want to read this book in lieu of listening.

18 people found this helpful

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So touching…

I’m an an avid Audible listener and this is one of the most touching stories I ever listened to. I’m on a plane for 6 hours headed for Hawaii and listened to the book for hours. In that time I’ve cried REAL tears of despair, joy, relief…I know the lady sitting beside me thinks I’m a nut…but I’m not…the book is just that good … the characters so beautifully crafted…the story just that compelling. Listen to it!

18 people found this helpful

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Unimpressed

I had high hopes for this book but it was sappy and predictable. Seemed to be written for a Junior high audience. I wanted depth and to care deeply about the characters. I got neither.

17 people found this helpful

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  • bf
  • 05-26-21

I didn't want it to end

I bought the Audible version with the intent of listening to it on my work commute. What should have taken at least a month to finish actually took a week. I developed a connection to the characters in the first chapter and I could not help but think about them during the day. I was satisfied with the ending- I just didn't want it to end! One of TI Lowe's best books yet!

16 people found this helpful

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Best in a long time!

I've waited a long time for a book I could feel good referring other readers to, and this one was worth the wait! It contains well-developed characters, carefully-woven storyline, and an ending that brings it all together. Highly recommend and will be looking for more books by this author!

12 people found this helpful

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Do yourself a favor... listen.

This was a treat to myself after. long year of reviewing books for my school library. So worth it. Indulge.

12 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Brittany Overgaard
  • Brittany Overgaard
  • 06-13-22

Superb narrator

The narrator really kept me going with this book. It’s a beautiful story, but it loses points for being a little too religious. Love the themes of family, resilience, trust, friendship, being the outsider/isolation and mental health. Could almost see this being a movie if it weren’t for the very PG/Christian vibes and some very drawn out storylines…