From Liberty to Magnolia in Search of the American Dream

I love memoirs and I jumped at the opportunity to read a new one detailing the life of Janice S. Ellis.  What did I think of From Liberty to Magnolia In Search of the American Dream?  I am excited to share my review of this novel this morning and offer readers an opportunity to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Book Title: From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream by Janice S. Ellis
Category: Adult NonFiction, 412 pages
Genre: Memoir
I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.

About the Book
From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream vividly recounts the journey of an African-American woman from rural, segregated Mississippi through academia, corporate America, and politics. It is the story of how she triumphed even when, more often than not, the ugly realities of racism and sexism tried to deter her.

This book tells the broader story, too, of how her life epitomizes what the Civil Rights Act and Equal Rights Amendment have meant and have not meant for blacks and women as she has lived through their maturation during the last 50 years. What better time than now to examine how these two seminal and defining events played out in the life of an ordinary African-American woman who believed in all of America s promises?

What better moment than today to look deeply at the life of a woman who prepared herself and worked tirelessly to achieve her goals only to realize that many lay beyond her reach and that of most women and most blacks. From Liberty to Magnolia shows readers, especially aspiring women and minorities with whom her story will have special resonance how to navigate and ultimately embrace the challenges at every major crossroads and be triumphant.

A Discussion Guide is included for use by book clubs, classes, and group discussions.

My Review
Ellis shares an inspirational story.  I love reading memoirs because they really open a person's life and times for the world.  Ellis' story is no exception.  She opens her life story and shares the good and the bad from her life's many experiences.  In very well written, organized detail--the author shares her challenges, her victories and her insights with readers.

Memoirs are difficult to "review".  This isn't a normal "start to finish" book like most that we read and review.  The author shares memories and experiences--and some of the book feels a bit repetitive as she revisits her past from different memories and experiences.  All in all; however, Ellis does a wonderful job keeping her story organized and easy to read.  She simply has a writing style that draws readers into her story--and she does have quite a story to tell.

Would I recommend From Liberty to Magnolia?  Not only does the author share an emotional, inspirational story--she does so in a fashion sure to inspire and motivate others.  This book is perfectly suitable for tweens and teens as well as adults.  If you enjoy well-written memoirs that leave you feeling inspired and driven--this novel is a must read.  I would also recommend the discussion guide if you are reading as a family or with a mother/daughter book group.

To read reviews, please visit Janice S. Ellis's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book

About the Author

Janice Ellis, Ph.D., has been an executive throughout her career, first in government, then in a large pharmaceutical company, later as President and CEO of her own marketing firm, and finally as President and CEO of a bi-state non-profit child advocacy agency. Along with those positions, she has been writing columns for four decades on race, politics, education, and other social issues. They have appeared in a major metropolitan daily newspaper, The Kansas City Star; a major metropolitan business journal, The Milwaukee Business Journal; and for community newspapers The Milwaukee Courier, The Kansas City Globe, and The Kansas City Call. She began her career writing and delivering radio commentary for two years for one of the largest ABC radio affiliates in Wisconsin. Later in her career, she wrote and delivered a two-minute spot on the two largest Arbitron-rated radio stations in the Greater Kansas City area. She has also written for several national trade publications, focusing on healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Ellis published an online magazine,, for seven years dedicated to increasing understanding across race and ethnicity, in which she analyzed race and equality issues in America. The website continues to attract thousands of visitors per year. The site also has a vibrant Facebook page with fans numbering in the thousands. Five years ago, Dr. Ellis launched a companion site,, which aggregates news about race relations, racism, and discrimination from across the United States and around the world daily. Dr. Ellis also has her own website,, which houses a collection of her writings and where she continues to write about race inequality, gender inequality, politics, education, and other issues related to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Janice Ellis, a native daughter of Mississippi, grew up and came of age during the height of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. Born and reared on a small cotton farm, she was influenced by two converging forces that would set the course of her life. The first was the fear and terror felt by blacks because of their seeking to exercise the right to vote along with other rights and privileges afforded to whites. The second was her love of books, the power of words, and her exposure to renowned columnists, Eric Sevareid and Walter Lippmann, whose work solidified her belief that the wise use of words is what advances the good society.

Janice Ellis became determined to take a stand, and not accept and allow the conditions of that farm life, or the strictures of oppressive racial segregation and entrenched sexism limit what she could become. She became determined to use whatever talents God had blessed her with and the power of words to help improve the human condition. FROM LIBERTY TO MAGNOLIA is her first book.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 7, 2018

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