Johnny "Hollywood" Hogan owns the ballroom on Magnolia Street, where sisters Kate and Shirley Winters, along with other regulars, go every Saturday night to escape the realities of Belfast life, and to seek fun and romance.
Free-spirited Shirley has a mad crush on a boy named Declan Greenwood, while thoroughly modern Kate likes plenty of variety in her wardrobe (and her love life) and is determined to get married before her younger sister. She'll take anyone who'll have her, even if it has to be that greasy, though not entirely unattractive, mechanic who has been hanging around lately. The crowd at Hogan's is always lively, but that doesn't mean all problems have been left at the door. Johnny's grandparents are afraid that he'll retire and shut the ballroom down. Johnny yearns for Marion, his old love (and Declan's mother), while Marion starts to worry that her long-held secret will finally be revealed.
But it doesn't take long for all of the ballroom's patrons to discover that, even without velvet-lined balconies and crystal chandeliers, the magic of the twinkling lights and soft music will help them find just what they're looking for, whether it be family, friendship, or even true love.
"Maeve Binchy meets Joanne Trollope....Gives you a warm glow like a nice cup of tea." (Irish Independent)
"Winterson's warm voice makes for a lovely pairing to a gentle story." (Library Bookwatch)
I really enjoyed this book. I'm an avid Mauve Binchey fan and this story could have been one of hers. The characters are easy to relate to and the story is well woven. This was a good listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The Ballroom on Magnolia Street?
The characters and the plot.
What did you like best about this story?
Started slow but wound its way into my heart.
What does Caroline Winterson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Very pleasant voice, but entertaining.
If you could take any character from The Ballroom on Magnolia Street out to dinner, who would it be and why?
The character who owned the ballroom.
Any additional comments?
Love this Author!
great narration, a good audiobook but not as good as the teahouse. funny, but i think her audiobooks are better the second time you listen to them. so, i guess worth it for the re-listen.
Not nearly as good as this author's other 2 books, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So much back and forth that keeping up with the characters and what timeframe they belonged in was confusing.
Maybe not Maeve Binchey, but a nice, pleasant little story to pass the time. I also listened to the Teahouse book, which was ok, but this one was better.
If you are under the age of 40 and like chick-lit I do not suggest you read this book. Very long and never really captures your attention. Probably better for the more mature woman, 50+.