Magnolia Gods: Thomas Hollyday
One man’s dream turns into a nightmare for others. One man’s integrity is questioned because of a decision he made and the loyalty and allegiance he had for his country. Creating an experimental seaplane, which runs on steam power or energy, was the goal of Navy Captain Edward Lawson. So, why work so hard to create this machine and then fly it into the hands of the Soviet Union? Why use this top-secret plane loaded with weaponry, fly it over the Atlantic Ocean into enemy hands only to be labeled a traitor.
A plane so valuable, one that took so much time, energy, investment and work why would anyone do this? When the plane crashed little did anyone know that his body was gone, the plane appeared to be lost at sea and the end result would catapult into years of death, murder, deceit, lies and betrayals that go way beyond what everyone thought this man had done. Because they thought he committed an act of treason does that mean it has to reflect on his wife and family? Are you guilty because someone in your family is accused of doing something wrong, should you suffer too? When Mark Howard who runs and owns a small aviation museum learns years later that his funding did not only come from a huge corporation called Avaratrice but from someone in Lawson’s family, he is forced by his grandson Jesse, to look into the incident or lose more than just his funding.
Captain Edward Lawson was said to fly off in an experimental and unarmed PBY Catalina flying boat and was thought to attempt to deliver this secret airplane to the visiting Soviet Battleship Stalin cruising just off the Jersey shoreline where it was making its way to New York for the opening of the new United Nations located at Lake Success. But, he was said to be lost at sea and declared a traitor. The Navy issued a statement saying that he had stolen top-secret documents from this office and blew up his research lab. If found alive he would be charged as a traitor and guilty of espionage. But, did he really commit this crime? Why did he really take the plane and what was the real story behind the theft?
The author very creatively introduces readers to the history behind the aircraft, why working for this lab was exciting and the true purpose that Bernard Wall had when becoming involved with creating what he called the Giant Boat, a seaplane back in the 20’s in the lab, before Lawson came. How did plane was made and why steam powered launchers were used for this aircraft carrier is part of the basis for power and greed. Avaitrice, a powerful company runs by Bernard 7 b d Wall and his daughter Jessica Veal. Wall was smart, underhanded and hired a man named Hiram Jones as he eyes and ears making sure that Lawson would be watched every step of the way. But, a huge reveals by someone close to the Captain alerts readers that there is much more to the story to come.
Lawson was considered to be a traitor and his actions went against the foundation of our country. Jesse, his grandson and Mike Howard will move heaven, earth and much more to find his body, learn what really happened and hopefully rescue the missing seaplane. Learning more about the history of the plane, steam powder and the Bernard Wall, we find out that his goal was not in the interest of creating a great plane but to create a situation that would pit two world powers against each other by way of a simple accident. As you hear one of the higher ups in Aviatrice, enlighten us about the history and more, we find it hard to believe that Lawson would commit such an act and fly that ship and land beside the Stalin. Bernard Wall is a sick man on a mission. His goals at the start appeared to be noble and his ability to be reasoned with nil.
What he stole, what it was missing and why you won’t believe and the weaponry Wall thought it might be capable of carrying would create a situation so catastrophic two world powers would never be the same if he succeeded.
As Mike and Jesse decide on a plan of action someone close to him walks back into his life to help him vindicate the Captain. With Robin by his side the journey begins but not before someone plants false information sending the police after both of them. Meeting with 2 people to learn more proves fatal for them and they are accused of their murder. Listening to Jesse’s mom relate her story and what her mother in law revealed before she died sends them on a path that will change many lives, put people in danger and revisit the scene where the plane crashed. Hear what the lawyers asked Lawson’s wife first hand. Understand that she never faltered, showed fear or any emotion. Realize that her final word: Tabernacle would bring Robin and Mike front and center with a place called Magnolia Creek and the Tabernacle. But, first enter a mental institution and meet Lawson’s secretary Becky who is smart, clever and relates facts that no one else has ever heard but whose mental status is such that no one even realizes she is pretending to be crazy.
A broken down Volkswagen, two daring people and an endless desire to not give up, Mike and Robin along with Jesse and Jeremy will fight their way against, the police, FBI, towns people, media and one man named Bernard Wall.
Meet Hobble and the people living on this special farm who will risk it all to help Mike. Given their land by Jesse’s family they felt they owed him their help. Hearing his story Mike is hopeful that their secret plane might have been kept safe all these years and just might make one final flight. Careful subterfuge, smart planning and the plane disappeared leaving only the raft and some documents to be found. Why did his wife want him to be called a spy? What was she afraid of? What would the people of Aviatrice that owned the plane do if they recovered it? As Mike faces a possible financial downfall and no funding for his museum, Wall and his daughter hope to put a freeze on Jesse’s accounts.
Added in we learn the history behind the Magnolia Tree, why Lawson made sure to destroy all of them on the land owned by the Nanticokes who worshipped the trees. Telling the story of his grandfather, talking about a man named Jim Bob we learn more about what Wall’s real goals were and why he found it necessary to eliminate anyone in his way. Simple people, a hard life, each one Hobble states has his/her own story and people that protect themselves just like the old Magnolia Whisper Nanticokes did. They believed in the wisdom and the spirit of the trees and the seaplane was named Magnolia Whisper. When you read chapter 15 you will learn about the Navy, why the plane was painted black and used as bombers in the Pacific. With the help of a man named Regal, the seaplane was kept in good condition and hoped that it just might make one final flight before turning it over to the United Nations.
Read Captain Lawson’s Diary in Chapter 16 and learn in his own words the truth behind what he did, why and the reason Bernard Wall has to be stopped. Bernard Wall came into his life and into his project giving him the beginning of light for his program. All of a sudden things began falling into place as money was provided to encourage manufacturers who could build safer aircrafts. Wall was sales oriented and his planes were known for their connection to Aviatrice ‘s safety designs and were bought by air forces wanting the most safety for their pilots. Excited at first, Lawson was thrilled when Wall offered to look at the Giant Boat and its designs. But, as you read the harsh truth will be revealed and you will learn that this man who pretended to want the best for Lawson was really after one thing. Concerned that his project would end, the plane would be taken away from him and Hiram Jones was hired to watch his every move, Lawson took a bold move, as you will read in his journal and stole the plane. Why? You will have to read for yourself. Deceits, lies, betrayals, greed, power, money and hate fueled Bernard Wall. But, can he be stopped? Giving Magnolia Whispers to the United Nations would that protect every nation allowing them access to the technology?
When Mike, Jesse, Robin and Jeremy enlist the help of Regal, the man who has watched over and cared for the missing plane for so long, they decide to take her up one more time but will she withstand the hands of time? Who will fly her? Mike living in the shadow of his father and remembering one incident that changed their relationship as both Robin and Jesse fight their own demons. Each one remembering the past but having to move on in the present.
This novel has many different themes but the first is loyalty, trust, deceit and a simple lie that caused many their lives and one man his reputation. Magnolia Gods will give readers much pause for thought as you take the ride back in time to July 4, 1946, watch the plane take off and learn about its final destination.
As Bernard Wall puts his plan into place to stop Mike from completing what Lawson started, the author allows readers right on the plane, explains the technology, fires her up and allows us to join them on this treacherous journey With Walls, daughter Jessica and her right hand man Bullard, plotting to take them down, their arsenal filled with ammunition, will the seaplane stand tall, stay afloat and in the air before the weapons hit? What happens will surprise readers as the author brilliantly creates a heart stopping ending, filled with danger, suspense, weaponry you might never hear or see again when you visualize the scene, and a crew hoping to get to safety before its too late. The media alerted to what is happening which side will they take?
Will the Navy or anyone help them? What happens when the towns and cities are alerted about their mission? Whose side will the people take after all this time? What will be the final fate of Mike and his museum? What about his relationship with Robin?
Will Lawson be vindicated or will the world side with Bernard Wall because of his power and money? What will happen to Aviatrice? What would have happened if He never stole the plane? What would have happened if Wall’s vision came true? One man who sacrificed his life, reputation and career for the love of his country.
Magnolia Whispers: can you hear the spirits talking? What are the trees saying? Where are the Magnolia Gods? Trees worshipped as if they were Gods and protected the Indians and still protect the land. Can you hear them speaking to you? Listen!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer