"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Friday, September 30, 2011

Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter by Lisa Patton

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Summary: A Memphis belle helps her husband open a B&B in snowy Vermont.

I liked everything about this book. I wavered between giving it 4 or 5 stars, but decided on 5 because, even as much as I could predict what would (and did) happen, I kept coming back to it and stayed up to finish it.

Leelee Satterfield has the perfect life in Memphis: her handsome husband, whom she nabbed in college, after she got boobs; a gorgeous house, supportive friends, and happy children. And one night her husband tells her he's profoundly unhappy and the only thing that will ever make him happy is to be the owner of an inn in Vermont. Since Leelee has never said no to Baker -ever-, she sells her house and uses the money along with her father's inheritance to buy the Vermont Haus Inn.

Despite all the red flags, including a smelly house and a tiny bedroom, Leelee reluctantly settles in to life in Vermont, constantly surprised at al the things she never knew about before: black ice, flies that bite, rook rakes, sonic booms and nor'easters. But the biggest surprise of all is when her husband forgets their wedding anniversary and instead leaves her a note telling her he's fallen in love with an older woman and will be taking a job managing her ski resort instead.

The weakest part of the novel for me was how capable and collected Leelee seemed after the man she has adored forever left her high and dry with a cook who hates her and a falling-down building. The rest of the book travels upon predictable paths - her new cook is single and gorgeous, her girlfriends from Memphis come to the rescue, but it worked in sweet and tender ways. I'm ready for more Leelee.

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