The Magnolia Story
Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, and Mark Dagostino
Thomas Nelson, 2016. 208 pgs. Nonfiction
“Are y’all ready to see your fixer upper?”
If you’ve spent any time watching HGTV over the last three years, that phrase is probably familiar. Fixer Upper became a bona fide hit when it aired in the spring of 2013, largely thanks to the down-home charm of its stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The couple, who are also busy raising four small children on a farm outside Waco, Texas, make their living by turning rundown properties into families’ dream homes. With The Magnolia Story, they give fans a closer look at their life.
Although The Magnolia Story gives a brief glimpse into how Fixer Upper got its start, it isn’t a behind the scenes tell-all. Instead, this book tells the story of Chip and Joanna’s relationship and life leading up to becoming TV stars. Alternating between their two voices, it tells about their childhoods, their time as newlyweds, their risky business ventures, their failures, their successes, and their faith. I’m a big fan of Chip and Jo, so this book was a delight for me. It captured their warm, loving relationship, and I was surprised by how inspiring I found it. Without being overly preachy, The Magnolia Story showed how theirs is a life built on hard work, intuition, faith, generosity, and love.