In the last few years one of the top HGTV shows has become Fixer Upper. If you haven’t watched this show yet, you are missing out! The show is about a couple (Chip and Joanna) who live in Waco, Texas and help people create their dream homes. Chip finds run down homes for the couples to look at, Joanna comes up and presents designs to turn the homes from drab to fab and then upon choosing the couple goes to work – Chip works on demolition and reconstructing the house while Joanna designs the home, interior and exterior. This book follows the journey of Chip and Joanna. The reader gets an inside look at who they were before the show, how the show came about, along with the ups and downs they have had to go through as a couple and business partners along the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Part of that could be because I am an avid fan of the show and any insight into their lives was exciting to read about. Another reason why I believe I liked this book is because it is written in such an honest manner. Not everything that this couple has gone through has been all smiles and roses, but they included that and allowed the reader to see that though they might be on TV, they have grown up just like everyone else dealing with their own struggles. I truly love how open and true this couple is about not only their trials, but about their faith. This is talked about more in the book then you will see on the show, but as a woman of God it was wonderful to see how they both came to be who they are in their own relationship but also their relationships with God.
I haven’t read many, if any, by more than one author telling of their life so I was very interested to see how they were going to do this. If you watch Fixer Upper, you know that Chip and Jo have very different personalities and I was so hoping that would find a way to put their different personalities into this book somehow. I think they were successful at capturing each person in the book by having them both tell stories throughout. Jo was the one who was primarily telling the stories of their lives throughout the book, but then there was Chip adding in his funny remarks or his side of the story.
There were things in the book I had known already from watching the show, like that Chip and Jo met at her dads tire shop, how they had 4 children, and I obviously knew about their show. But the thing is knowing some of those details already just made the book that much more. I may have known where they met, but not the full story and getting to read about it and hearing both sides to the story was sweet. That was one of my favorite things about the book, if you hadn’t watched Fixer Upper you won’t be lost while reading the book, but if you had watched the show you won’t be bored reading the book.
For a book with only 15 chapters and less than 200 pages, they were sure to add a lot of stories of their journey so far. A favorite story in the book was about how Chip asked Jo to marry him and how she came to get her engagement ring. As I was reading it I was thinking, “What is happening? Is this really how Chip proposes?” then as I continued reading I began to realize how the engagement was not only very sweet and thought out, but that it was 100% Chip Gaines. I also loved hearing about their first few years as a couple and the crazy stunts Chip pulled. It was also very inspiring to read how Jo had such faith in God and his plan throughout and how even when she was scared she listened and God always provided for her.The book also included about 40 pictures from when they were children to current day which was truly fun to see. I loved that they added descriptions of the pictures and many pictures went with the stories found throughout the book.
I do want to touch on the title of the book, The Magnolia Story. I had heard the name Magnolia while watching the show as they have a store called Magnolia Market and they wear shirts that say it, but they had never explained where that came from. While reading the book, you come to learn (if you are like me and didn’t know) Magnolia is a type of tree that has beautiful flowers that grows from it (see picture). These trees and I learned, are very southern. The trees played a big role in the beginning of Chip and Jo’s relationship and as their journey continued they brought the name and feeling of Magnolia with them.
Chip and Jo’s love of home and family is the key to everything for them, it is what keeps them going and inspires them through their journey. This theme is easily seen while watching Fixer Upper and not hard to pickup in the book either. They keep true to who they are, for which I am grateful for. If you are looking for a fun and light hearted book, that will make you think a little, be grateful for what you have, smile, and laugh then I highly recommend checking this book out!