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  • Dianna Dann

Always Magnolia

Dianna Dann, 2014

Wayward Cat Publishing

331 pages

Print ISBN: 978-1-938999-12-3, $16.99

ASIN : B00ND8SZ12, $2.99

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles

“He sits beside her,” you said. “She’s naked. He’s ashamed because he’s starring at her—he wants to touch her, feel her skin, put his hands on her breasts and between her legs, but then she turns her head to face him and he sees in her eyes that she is now prey and he is a predator” (313).

A disturbingly dark tale where monsters are real and a young girl named Magnolia desires a man like the one who beats her mother. Alarming. Tangled minds and torture are real.

Dann’s novel is a psychologically dark account of a girl named Magnolia. Environment makes a difference for her and the other young people who live in the trailer park. They struggle to climb out of the clutches of poverty and the sin wriggling around them, but treachery seems normal. Magnolia can’t stand how her mother continues loving her father. How can she allow him back in the trailer after he beat her time after time to within inches of her life? Always excuses. Her mother forgave him and said it wasn’t his fault just as Magnolia forgives Jack, one of the most troubled boys in the park. She rationalizes his beating others in their group, refuses to acknowledge his behavior of wrapping duct-tape around one of the girl’s mouths, tying her hands, cutting off her clothes, and dragging her next to barking dogs as alarming. He’d told the girl, “No one can hear you screaming.” Magnolia believed she could love Jack into changing. Even when she hears her sister tell her mother, “[Y]ou’ve been telling her since she was born—that love is punishment. It’s torture. By God, Ruby, are you going to tell her it’s murder?” (245), her vision is clouded.

A haunting story that will make you study your neighbors more closely. A tragic reality you’ll not want to witness, but you can’t help but turn the page. Dann grips readers with surprising twists until the very end.



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