The Magnolia Story

Title: The Magnolia Story

Author: Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, & Mark Dagostino

Published: October 18th, 2016

Pages: 208

Genre: Autobiography, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Listened to on Overdrive


Wreath(13)-BlackGoodreads Description: 

Are you ready to see your fixer upper?

These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like Who are these people?What s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America s new best friends.

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.

In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover: The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby Joanna s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck Joanna s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple Memories and photos from Chip and Jo s wedding The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way

And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? Oh yeah, says Joanna. He was, and still is, my first fixer upper. ”


Things I enjoyed about this book: 

It was WHOLESOME. It’s rare for me to read a book without blood, guts, and a protagonist that probably belongs in prison… Well, apparently Chip did some time in the slammer. I have seen a few episodes of Fixer Upper and just love the values of the Gains family. These same values ring true in their book. The stories they shared were entertaining and enjoyable. This was a book I could listen to without headphones.

The Things I Didn’t Enjoy: 

The audiobook felt a little forced at points, unlike their show. I also always find a pull in my heart between if they are really these people or not… This time I choose to believe they are, but I hate that I have to feel that!


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Chip and Joanna deserve 5 feathers for their book The Magnolia Story. Part of me feels like I am rating them as people, because that is exactly what their book is, and they do seem like good people. In a world where we are inundated with smut it is so refreshing to see wholesome families who are doing good in the world. I truly admire Joanna for integrating God into her book and life. She is raising beautiful, well rounded children. She talked about her motto of thriving not just surviving which truly resonated with me and my three years here in San Diego while my husband does a Podiatry Residency.  Chip is hilarious and would be someone who always keep fans on their toes. A fun short listen if you are looking for something light!

Parent’s Guide:

I could listen to this one without headphones- so it’s kid approved!


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