Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Review: 'Magnolia's Violet (Painting Sage Book 2)' by Rachael K. Hannah

Magnolia's Violet by Rachael K. Hannah

‘Girl-power superheroes!’

New York author Rachael K. Hannah earned her BA from the College of the Holy Cross, a MSEd from Manhattan College and another master’s degree in autism studies from CUNY Hunter. She has been a teacher for over ten years, working in both public and private schools. Her debut published novel PAINTING SAGE showed polished in prose sculpting and intuitive into mental health issues, phrased as well as any author with more experienced has accomplished. Perhaps her long interest in writing short stories and articles about civil rights, mental health issues, women’s rights, and animal rights have paved the way for the success of this impressive debut. Now she continues what has become the Painting Sage series, and MAGNOLIA’S VIOLET is Book 2

Rachael opens her touching story quite simply – ‘…Since graduating from St. Luke’s College that previous spring, floating shift after countless shift at the campus dining hall grill, and navigating my ‘granted-through-sheer-nepotism-thus-highly-unethical’ internship at one of the most promising social media sites in Manhattan, I felt utterly lost. Only four months had passed since I gazed out into the world’s vast unknown, spread my novice wings, and fallen flat on my metaphorical bottom. Oh yeah. And then there was the whole part about dealing with bipolar disorder and managing THAT on a daily basis. Yes, my name is Sage Sloane, and I am many things…’

The author’s synopsis gels the profound story well – ‘Recent college grad, Sage Sloane, navigates young adult life while successfully battling bipolar disorder. Interning at a buzzworthy social media site where, coincidentally, her father is a star, Sage wants nothing more than to follow her dreams. But even family connections aren’t enough to help Sage find herself. Does she have what it takes to make her mark? Balancing grad school life and dysfunctional parents (all the while looking out for her younger brother who has autism), Kat's challenges are just beginning. When the house of cards tumble, will Kat be able to pick up the pieces? Farrah is the daughter of a rising political star but manages to keep a safe distance from that lifestyle. A party girl who only focuses on the present, Farrah can’t help but feel that life has more to offer. The road to self-discovery may be fraught with setbacks. But with the power of friendship, together, these three women can make it through.’

This is an important book on many levels – the understanding of mental illness and the permutations of dysfunctional parents, family commitment, and the rights of the mentally ill – as well as an emotionally satisfying story. MAGNOLIA’S VIOLET continues Rachel Hannah’s growing reputation as an author of substance. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

Order it on Amazon today.
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