Rating: 4 out of 5
"Leelee Satterfield seems to have it all: a gorgeous husband, two adorable daughters, and roots in the sunny city of Memphis, Tennessee. So when her husband gets the idea to uproot the family to run a quaint Vermont inn, Leelee is devastated...and her three best friends are outraged. But she's loved Baker Satterfield since the tenth grade, so how can she not indulge his dream? Plus, the glossy photos of bright autumn trees and smiling children in ski suits push her over the edge. After all, how much trouble can it really be?
But Leelee discovers pretty fast that there's a truckload of things nobody tells you about Vermont until you live there: mud season, vampire flies, and the danger of ice sheets careening off roofs, just to name a few.
The inn they've bought also has its own host of problems: an odor that no amount of potpourri can erase, a tacky decor, and a staff of peculiar Vermonters. The whole operation is managed by Helga, a stern German woman who takes a special delight in bullying Leelee. Needless to say, it doesn't take long for her to start wondering when to drag out the moving boxes again.
When an unexpected hardship takes Leelee by surprise, she finds herself left alone with an inn to run, a mortgage to pay, and two daughters to raise. But this Southern belle won't be run out of town so easily. Drawing on the grit and inner strength she didn't know she had, Leelee decides to turn around the inn, her attitude, and her life. In doing so, she makes friends with her neighbors, finds a little romance, and realizes there's a lot more to love about Vermont than she first thought."
How my gosh, how hysterically I laughed through this book! If you're in the mood for a laugh, as well as a homey, feel-good read, this is such a great choice. Everything from the cover, to the characters, to the descriptions of Vermont and the inn are wonderfully done and I really loved that Lisa Patton didn't take the conventional way of writing a women's contemporary fiction novel, adding in lots of sex or making Leelee a complete spoiled brat. She came from money, sure, but she had to worry about finances just like the rest of us.
You'll get a great, lighthearted feeling while turning the pages, learning along with Leelee what it takes to run a business, jumping in completely inexperienced and in a brand new environment, having left everything familiar behind. She does some deep soul searching and ends up finding out a lot about herself that she never knew. Again, you'll laugh at her quite a bit, but you'll also end up with a big soft spot for Leelee in your heart.
Though Vermont is not shown in the best of lights, with the bugs and the crazy snow, etc., Patton's way of describing the state just made me want to go there more! I turned to my husband several times and whispered "let's move to Vermont!" Of course, evoking eyebrow raising from him. He just doesn't even ask anymore. I loved the constant descriptions of the scenery, the weather, the people, the clothing, everything. Patton really has a knack for describing.
Overall, a really great way to kick start my reading for 2010! I can't wait to see what else Lisa Patton has in that head of her's. If you're in the mood for some light reading and a bit of humor, Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter is a lot of fun.
Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter
Book borrowed from my local library
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