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Whistlin' Dixie In A Nor'easter

Whistlin' Dixie In A Nor'easter, October 2010
by Lisa Patton

St. Martin's Griffin
320 pages
ISBN: 0312658893
EAN: 9780312658892
Trade Size
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"A funny debut novel with loads of Southern attitude and humor."

Fresh Fiction Review

Whistlin' Dixie In A Nor'easter
Lisa Patton

Reviewed by Suan Wilson
Posted September 21, 2010

Women's Fiction

Leelee Satterfield's life in Memphis, Tennessee, is perfect! She can't understand her husband's sudden restlessness and his desire to uproot their family to Vermont of all places. Leelee always bows to her husband's wishes and has never defied him. Against her better judgment and her friends' belief that she has lost her mind, Leelee packs her bags and heads to Vermont where her husband has bought a dilapidated bed-and-breakfast to restore, sinking all their money into it.

The culture shock upon arriving nearly has Leelee turning around and heading home. The monstrous flies and mosquitoes resembled vampires in a feeding frenzy, leaving Leelee and the kids soaked in bug repellant. The cold and heavy snows are unbearable in the leaky inn that has little to no insulation. When her husband up and leaves in the middle of the night for another woman, Leelee is stuck. She has no money but a huge mortgage each month and employees to pay. Finding her backbone, Leelee discovers her inner strengths as she struggles to keep her life from dissolving into complete disaster.

Funny, engaging, loads of Southern attitude and humor are just a few words that come to mind after reading Ms. Patton's debut novel. She nails the characters from eccentric Vermonters to a misplaced Southern Belle. The portrayal of Leelee's growth from being her husband's ornament to finding and developing into an independent woman who discovers happiness with loads of help from her girlfriends gives this read a thumbs-up. This review is from the hardcover edition.

Learn more about Whistlin' Dixie In A Nor'easter


Leelee Satterfield seemed 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, 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 edges after all, how much trouble can it really be?But Leelee discovers pretty fast that therer's a truckload of things nobody tells you about Vermont until you live there: such as mud season, vampire flies, and the danger of ice sheets careening off roofs.

Not to mention when her beloved Yorkie decides to pick New Year's Eve to go to doggie heaven-she encounters one more New England oddity: frozen ground means you can't bury your dead in the winter. And that Yankee idiosyncrasy just won't do.

The inn they've bought also has its host of problems: an odor that no amount of potpourri can erase, tacky décor, and a staff of peculiar Vermonters whose personalities are as unique as the hippopotamus collection gracing the fireplace mantle. The whole operation is managed by Helga, a stern German woman who takes special delight in bullying Leelee for her southern gentility. Needless to say, it doesn't take long for Leelee to start wondering when to drag out the moving boxes again.

But 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 Southern 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 in common with Vermont than she first thought.In this moving and comedic debut, Lisa Patton paints a hilarious portrait of life in Vermont as seen through the eyes of a southern belle readers won't soon forget. A charming fish-out-of-water tale of one woman who learns to stand up for herself-in sandals and snow boots-against the odds.

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