The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia Story

This eBook includes the full text of the book plus an exclusive additional chapter from Chip and Joanna that is not found in the hardcover!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...

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Title:The Magnolia Story
Author:Chip Gaines
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Edition Language:English

The Magnolia Story Reviews

  • Jean

    “Are you ready to see your fixer-upper?” HGTV fans know these words well. They are spoken by Waco, Texas’, most famous couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, on their weekly television show as they are about to reveal the fruits of their labors to the homeowners who eagerly await the first look at their newly refurbished homes.

    recounts Chip and Joanna’s story in their own words. They tell us how they met, how they struggled, and how they overcame tremendous obstacles. Why “magnolia”?

    “Are you ready to see your fixer-upper?” HGTV fans know these words well. They are spoken by Waco, Texas’, most famous couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, on their weekly television show as they are about to reveal the fruits of their labors to the homeowners who eagerly await the first look at their newly refurbished homes.

    recounts Chip and Joanna’s story in their own words. They tell us how they met, how they struggled, and how they overcame tremendous obstacles. Why “magnolia”? The magnolia is one of Jo’s favorite flowers. It is both beautiful and tough, and I think it represents these individuals, this couple, and their relationship. Most of the telling is Jo’s, with Chip chiming in now and then (he does admit that Jo is right almost all the time). She says that they are proof that opposites attract; she was a communications major who tends toward the introvert side of the spectrum. Chip is anything but. He can charm anyone, and if this book is any indication, he usually does.

    I love their show. Chip is a total goofball, and Jo good-naturedly puts up with his adolescent nonsense. But the man is a skilled craftsman, and Jo points out time and again in the book what amazing business sense he has. As a business major, he had learned the basics at Baylor, and he was a born entrepreneur. Even as a young child, his mind was churning with ideas of what businesses he could run. Yes, he has taken a lot of chances, but he has had mentors along the way, and he has listened and learned well. Jo found her design inspirations while living in New York during her internship with CBS News. She fell out of love with TV journalism, but she found her calling when she browsed the boutiques and shops in the Big Apple.

    I expected more humor, honestly. That’s not to say that there aren’t some pretty outrageous moments recalled in these pages. What struck me the most, however, was the strength of the bond that these two people have with each other and with their family. They agree that they are stronger when they work together than when they are apart. They don’t need that alone time that many couples crave. Another lesson that Jo puts so well is sort of an “aha moment” that she had amidst the chaos of being a tired mom in a messy house when she realized that her home would never be “perfect.” It was when she realized that the happiness of her kids came first and that enjoying them was more important than anything else. So with all of their financial difficulties and so many projects on their plate, she realized that she could “strive or thrive.”

    is filled with moments like these.

    As a fan of the show, it was fun for me to get to know Chip and Joanna Gaines as people and to know that the people who appear on camera really

    being themselves. They are simple, honest folks with good hearts. When they remodel a fixer-upper for a couple or a family, it is very personal. They are passionate about each project, and it shows. That sounds like an old-fashioned business model, doesn’t it? Honest. Real. Hard-working. Refreshing.

  • Amy (Foxy)

    was a daily audible deal that I grabbed because I know my husband enjoyed their TV show. We listened to this on a day road trip.

    Both Chip and Joanna narrated the book. The way they told the story made it feel like I had gone out to dinner with them and they were sharing their life story with me. It was entertaining and inspiring to listen to how these two began and where they are today in both their professional and personal lives.

    If you're a fan of their TV show then I thin

    was a daily audible deal that I grabbed because I know my husband enjoyed their TV show. We listened to this on a day road trip.

    Both Chip and Joanna narrated the book. The way they told the story made it feel like I had gone out to dinner with them and they were sharing their life story with me. It was entertaining and inspiring to listen to how these two began and where they are today in both their professional and personal lives.

    If you're a fan of their TV show then I think you'll enjoy getting to know them even more through their book.

  • Victoria

    I will state right up front that I came late

    I will state right up front that I came late to the Fixer Upper party, but now that I’m here, I’m like that drunk uncle who won’t leave and is just making a slobbery mess of himself. I am addicted to the show and I can’t get enough of the Gaines. This delightful couple was featured on a segment of CBS’ Sunday morning programming and I couldn’t believe I’d missed the phenomenon that is The Magnolia Story as I live and breathe the world of design. In any case, as soon as I saw they had a book out I queued up for another installment of the Chip and Joanna life.

    As the summary suggests, this is a walk down memory lane for the Gaines couple starting with the pivotal moment that changed their lives while shooting the pilot for their now successful series, then moving back in time from their first meeting through all their travails and then circling back to the present. Their authenticity comes through every page as they continually marvel at how they arrived at where they are today. And you believe them when they say it’s not about fame or fortune, it’s about achieving their dream of living on a farm, doing work they love, raising their kids and lifting up a town.

    This is not literature or an authorial memoir, it is a book filled with reflections and a good story about good people who worked hard, loved and believed in one another and with great faith and perseverance, have managed to turn their town of Waco, Texas into a tourist destination. All the while also lifting up their friends’ businesses as they incorporate their artistry into the show.

    For those with a sensitivity to mentions of God this might cause some discomfort. They’re not pushing Christianity, but they do have an abiding faith. While I’m not religious, I do have a strong belief so I have a flexible attitude toward anyone on the continuum and I found their transparency refreshing. All in all, these were nice people to spend a few hours reading about and I wish them all their future success.

    And that’s as uplifting a message as any of us need right now!

  • Cheri

    I ran across the show Fixer Upper when I was recovering from surgery sometime after their first season, it gave me something to dream about, all the things I wished I could do in my home, if I just had Chip and Joanna’s help. I knew they’d recently come out with a magazine, and I’d frequented their website a few times.

    The things that I find entertaining, endearing sometimes, are how “normal” they are. Neither comes from a well-to-do family, but clearly from loving families. They are as Ozzie an

    I ran across the show Fixer Upper when I was recovering from surgery sometime after their first season, it gave me something to dream about, all the things I wished I could do in my home, if I just had Chip and Joanna’s help. I knew they’d recently come out with a magazine, and I’d frequented their website a few times.

    The things that I find entertaining, endearing sometimes, are how “normal” they are. Neither comes from a well-to-do family, but clearly from loving families. They are as Ozzie and Harriet or June and Ward Cleaver or Mike and Carol Brady as one can be in real life, except Chip likes to occasionally pretend he can still do the things he did as a buff teenager, mostly, I tend to think, to make people laugh.

    When my friend (and goodreads friend) Victoria reviewed this, I knew I would read it sooner than later. I’m glad I did. With a few books with heavier topics behind me and a few ahead of me, I wanted a nice read not overly filled with pain and suffering.

    It isn’t that the Gaines have never had tough times, it’s how they pull together rather than point fingers and blame when those tough times hit or are looming. Their faith plays a strong role in their life, and it is mentioned, but not in a pushy way, and it is relatively infrequent, considering. You see their faith most often in how they’ve managed to make it through tough times.

    As Victoria says in her review, this is their walk down Memory Lane, from the first words Chip spoke to Joanna to her reactions, what they were like in those just-out-of-University years. And how they seemingly magically ended up having this television show, and their perfect life, and how amazingly grateful they are, and how they show their gratitude. And share it in surprising ways.

    I can’t compare this with some of the finer novels I’ve read this past year, and it doesn’t really fit the bill as the typical memoirs I’ve read of late. It’s hopeful, and filled with love and life and joy despite the obstacles, but it is as real as real can be.

    Many thanks, again, to Victoria, for pointing this book out to me. Her review:

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    How can you help but love Chip and Joanna Gaines! ❤

    A few quick thoughts that have stuck with me since listening to this audio.

    Chip and Joanna narrated this - love that, and they had their banter, talking together thing just like the show. I love love love that they don’t own a tv (wish I could do that...). They are a real couple who have worked through their own life struggles, but they consistently come out on top because they are a true TEAM when times are tough.

    I wasn’t expecting to feel i

    How can you help but love Chip and Joanna Gaines! ❤️

    A few quick thoughts that have stuck with me since listening to this audio.

    Chip and Joanna narrated this - love that, and they had their banter, talking together thing just like the show. I love love love that they don’t own a tv (wish I could do that...). They are a real couple who have worked through their own life struggles, but they consistently come out on top because they are a true TEAM when times are tough.

    I wasn’t expecting to feel inspired and uplifted after listening to this...but I did!

  • Jason Koivu

    This book was my bowling-ball-with-my-name-on-it gift to my wife this Christmas, à la Homer's gift to Marge in that old Simpsons episode. What I'm saying is I bought this for her, but it was really for me.

    Thing is, I knew she'd love it, and she did. She read it in its entirety on Christmas day. I finally got around to it just now, but once I got into it, I also gobbled it up quick. You see, we're both big fans of Chip and Jojo, the hosts from the tv show

    . We've watched plenty (too m

    This book was my bowling-ball-with-my-name-on-it gift to my wife this Christmas, à la Homer's gift to Marge in that old Simpsons episode. What I'm saying is I bought this for her, but it was really for me.

    Thing is, I knew she'd love it, and she did. She read it in its entirety on Christmas day. I finally got around to it just now, but once I got into it, I also gobbled it up quick. You see, we're both big fans of Chip and Jojo, the hosts from the tv show

    . We've watched plenty (too many) home remodeling shows over the years, especially around the time when we were looking to buy a house, but Chip and Jo meshed with our personalities more than others.

    While a handsome couple in their own way, they're not "Hollywood handsome" like some others.

    And their interactions feel more natural. Or at least they're not as irritating as some. No doubt that's because Chip and Joanna Gaines are a married couple with a family and a past. They worked on house building and remodeling projects prior to the show, and so their onscreen conundrums and strategies to overcome real obstacles that pop up in the process feel real. They also have almost polar opposite personalities that play off one another well onscreen. Chip's occasional Puck-like behavior can be entertaining, too.

    It was the Gaines' past and the behind-the-show stories that I was interested in reading about when I picked up

    . Unfortunately this is a slim, fluff piece. Yes, there is plenty of their past to read about, but the thing is, their pasts aren't that interesting. Meh, my fault. I mean, I asked for it. It's not their fault that they haven't lived torturous and depraved lives. No wait, it

    their fault! Lol! Anyway, what I'm saying is, don't expect huge amounts of drama and degradation in their history.

    The lack of behind-the-scenes info on the tv show is something a little more substantial to complain about. That's what drove me, and no doubt many other readers, to this book. I wanted to hear about the production, what it takes to put the show together, how they decide on the properties to be featured, what makes good tv and what gets left on the cutting room floor, etc. Aside from the story of how the show's producers found them and how it eventually clicked, it's just not there. Possibly it's just not interesting.

    All in all though, I can't complain. This is what it is and I didn't truly expect the world from this book. I got a fan's perspective and that's all one honestly deserves. I suspect most of the show's fans will be perfectly happy with

    . I scanned over a few reviews and noticed complaints that I hadn't considered, but in hindsight, yes, they do bother me too. Such as, Chip's manchild-like habit of buying new houses and even houseboats without consulting his wife, or forgetting that he's a dad and leaving his newborn to go to the store on multiple occasions, really does not endear me to the man. Some of it can be forgiven for reasons given in the book, but still, there was some negligible behavior going on there. Also, if you don't want to hear the name God spoken every other page, steer clear. I didn't realize they were so churchy, because you don't get much sense of that on the show. And there were times when I want to shake them and say "No, you were the cause of the that, not anyone else!" whether it be for good or bad reason. Often decisions are attributed to "the voice of God" and I want to say, "Actually, you decided to sell that property to the Gaines' at their asking price, because they're good people who are very charming, and jeez louise, it's an old farmhouse in the middle of Waco, Texas during a time when Waco wasn't all that! You weren't about to get a better offer and you know it!"

    Charming, as I said above. This couple and their family are quite charming, and so is this book. If you're already a fan of Chip and Jojo, I recommend

    .

  • Sue

    I'm a huge fan of

    , so I was looking forward to reading Chip and Jo's memoir more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I found it neither uplifting nor inspiring - nor even particularly interesting. And sadly, it tarnished for me their

    image as a couple - not sure I'm going to enjoy watching the show nearly as much as I used to.

    It's not that the book reveals heinous deep-dark secrets from their past; quite frankly, the book is largely a fluff piece, barely touching upon so

    I'm a huge fan of

    , so I was looking forward to reading Chip and Jo's memoir more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I found it neither uplifting nor inspiring - nor even particularly interesting. And sadly, it tarnished for me their

    image as a couple - not sure I'm going to enjoy watching the show nearly as much as I used to.

    It's not that the book reveals heinous deep-dark secrets from their past; quite frankly, the book is largely a fluff piece, barely touching upon some of the struggles they faced and breezing over any dark-night-of-the-soul moments. But some of what's discussed just doesn't gel with their on-screen personas. For example, Chip has a tendency to sell the family's home on a whim and buy random flip projects for them to renovate and move into - all without discussing with Joanna. According to the book, Jo's response is always to cry for a few moments, then get on board with Plan Chip because Chip knows best. And the book presents these episodes as periods of growth and improvement for Chip and Jo as a couple, for their family, and for their business. If I'm being honest, every single one of these accounts turned my stomach. This wasn't a couple working together as partners - it was an irresponsible, selfish man-child doing what he wanted and leaving his wife and family to make the best of his choice. And every time Joanna justified Chip's unilateral decisions, it smacked of some weird combination of Stockholm syndrome / Battered Wife syndrome (though obviously on a far lesser scale).

    My other major problem was the book's message - that if you work really hard, all your dreams will come to fruition. In this day and age, that's a ridiculously facile, almost insulting statement. Throughout the United States and around the world, there are millions of families and individuals busting their asses and failing to even keep their heads above water, much less realize their dreams. But the hard work mantra is particularly difficult to take when you read how much help (divine and otherwise) the Gaines family had in their path to the top. I definitely don't mean to imply that Chip and Joanna haven't worked hard for their success - far from it. It was sometimes difficult to keep track of all the various irons they had in the fire at any one time. But most people don't have parents who can afford to go in with them on land deals or random acquaintances willing to cut them a six-figure check at a moment's notice or landowners who spontaneously decide to sell their properties well below their asking costs. To say the Gaines have led a charmed life would be a massive understatement.

    I do respect Chip and Joanna for their commitment to their community. They've used their success to give back to Waco and to foster the careers of other area artisans. I think they're talented individuals who cleverly integrated their skills to form an appealing business and brand. But they've been extraordinarily lucky / blessed along the way, and it's this more than anything else that's led to their success. The book, however, downplays these incredible turns of fortune, placing the reins of success firmly in Chip and Joanna's hands. As an inspirational story, it therefore falls flat. And as a memoir, it fails to dig deeply enough into the lives and mindsets of its subjects. I'm not exactly sure what I wanted this book to be; I just know it failed to deliver on all fronts.

  • Courtney

    I like Chip and Joanna. HOWEVER. I have a feeling this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I thought this book made them look...not good. Whether it was Chip leaving his newborn baby home alone TWICE, tying said baby's car seat to his 4-wheeler, or buying multiple homes and forcing his wife/family to move, supposedly without ever discussing it with her,or whether it was Joanna lamenting over her tiny yard that somehow could hold a garden, a pergola, a dining area, and a chicken coop. Or may

    I like Chip and Joanna. HOWEVER. I have a feeling this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I thought this book made them look...not good. Whether it was Chip leaving his newborn baby home alone TWICE, tying said baby's car seat to his 4-wheeler, or buying multiple homes and forcing his wife/family to move, supposedly without ever discussing it with her,or whether it was Joanna lamenting over her tiny yard that somehow could hold a garden, a pergola, a dining area, and a chicken coop. Or maybe it was the impression given by the show that this was a couple who somehow hit the jackpot of exposure allowing them to become rich and famous, when in reality, they had enough money prior to Fixer Upper to be able to run several businesses, own several properties, and were in the middle of being the owners/builders of an entire subdivision of homes. Or possibly it was their multiple errors in using the word "literally" (No, Chip, you and Joanna are not LITERALLY from two different universes).

    I did not like this book.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I have a confession to make. My name is Kelly and I am addicted to Fixer Upper. Maybe not as much as the woman I see all around town wearing various shirts with stuff like this on the front . . . .

    I have one thing to say to her . . . .

    But I am addicted enough that the DVR is set to record every episode and I watch every single one of them – even the ones I’ve already seen three or four times.

    I arrived late to the Fixer Upper part

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I have a confession to make. My name is Kelly and I am addicted to Fixer Upper. Maybe not as much as the woman I see all around town wearing various shirts with stuff like this on the front . . . .

    I have one thing to say to her . . . .

    But I am addicted enough that the DVR is set to record every episode and I watch every single one of them – even the ones I’ve already seen three or four times.

    I arrived late to the Fixer Upper party – only discovering it this year. I’m not a big television watcher to begin with and thanks to a house full of men with sports and Netflix addictions, there was no way Chip and Joanna could even ping my radar. Then one day I was home alone, sick in bed and flipped over to HGTV just in time for an episode of Fixer Upper. Since I am an idiot who doesn’t know how to use a remote control, I ended up hitting the button that would record the entire series. Thank goodness, because I was instantly hooked and completely smitten with both Chip and JoJo.

    While I had no idea before, I quickly discovered that my style probably easily falls into the “modern farmhouse” category . . . .

    (With a lot more color than Joanna’s “nearly everything should be white” line of thinking.)

    I found out my most favorite day is definitely . . . .

    And I was even willing to go to my arch enemy . . . .

    Ugh, Target . . . .

    In order to check out the new Magnolia Home line. Or as my husband would say: “SHIPLACK” . . . .

    I don’t care if this little book is an additional money grab by the Gaines family or a puff piece or whatever else anyone wants to call it. Chip and Joanna seem legitimately wonderful (and I am terrified of discovering they aren’t as perfect as they appear to be) who should cash in on these “15 minutes” of fame to the fullest extent. That being said, I probably won't ever get around to reading this BECAUSE it is most likely not much more than fluff and a money grab and I don’t want to have to be honest and give it a low rating should I read it and not like it. I’m simply going to leave this little bit of nothing out in the universe since I do like this couple so much . . . . and I don’t like anyone so that’s really saying something. I’m also going to leave this here . . . . .

    I swear Joanna must be a saint. Chip makes for fun T.V., but living with him would be like herding cats : )

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