7 Books to Read If You're Obsessed with ‘Sweet Magnolias’ on Netflix

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Back in 2020, the Netflix series Sweet Magnolias took the streaming platform by storm. If you're unfamiliar, the show, which is based on Sherryl Woods’s book series, tells the story of three grown women who were born and raised in Serenity, South Carolina. The problem? They still reside there, which means they’re now facing all the same small-town dilemmas…as adults. In her review of the first episode, PureWow's senior editor of entertainment and news Greta Heggeness summed up the series like this: “I’m pleased to announce that it’s a total must-watch for anyone who’s a sucker for cheesy romantic dramas, like Hart of Dixie and Gilmore Girls (or anything Hallmark).” If that's your vibe—and you can't wait for a potential fourth season—consider picking up one of these sevenˆ similar books.

Looking for Shows like ‘Sweet Magnolias’? These 8 Are Just as Binge-worthy

virgin river robyn carr

1. Virgin River by Robyn Carr

In this book—which is also an uber-popular Netflix series—Melinda “Mel” Monroe is a midwife and nurse practitioner who moves to a remote California town for a fresh start. Though she tries to leave her painful memories behind, she soon learns that her past secrets can only stay buried for so long.

16 lighthouse road

2. 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

Olivia Lockhart is a family court judge who’s seen a lot of couples over the years. Most divorces are open-and-shut, but when Olivia meets a young couple whose grief might be overshadowing their love, she makes a controversial ruling that gets everyone in her close-knit hometown of Cedar Cove talking. And when the new-to-town newspaper editor Jack takes a personal interest in Olivia’s ruling, she’s surprised by just how welcome the attention is. The first book in Macomber’s Cedar Cove series is about the messiest, most surprising and most unforgettable parts of life.

something borrowed emily giffin

3. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

In Giffin's debut novel, Rachel is a hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan firm and a diligent maid of honor to her best friend Darcy, who has always shined while Rachel played sidekick. But everything changes when Rachel confesses her feelings to Darcy's fiance, who feels the same way. As the wedding gets closer, Rachel has to choose between her heart and conscience, discovering that life is sometimes messy, and you might have to risk everything to be your true self.

sisterhood of the traveling pants ann brashares

4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

You've seen the movies, but have you read the books? In this first installment of Brashares's series, we meet four friends—Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen—whose lives are changed by a pair of pants that magically fits them all. Like Sweet Magnolias, it's a cute story about female friendship.

california girls susan mallery

5. California Girls by Susan Mallery

Sisters Finola, Zennie and Ali may all live in California, but it's not all sunshine and roses when the three of them get the same week. Together, they rebuild their lives while realizing that defining yourself by the person you're with isn't worth anything if you aren't at peace with your self as an individual.

the awkward age segal

6. The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal

The widowed Julia and her teenage daughter, Gwen, are an insular team, until Julia meets James, a handsome doctor. Gwen hates his guts. But when Gwen and James’s son, Nathan, become unlikely bedfellows, the story takes on darker, modern-day Greg and Marcia Brady vibes. Segal nails the complicated nuances of families.

the animators kayla rae whitaker

7. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

In the male-dominated field of animation, college friends Mel and Sharon are a dynamic duo. But just as they reach the height of their professional careers, their partnership begins to fray, exposing resentments neither one saw coming.

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