Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter

Lisa Patton, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.99 (312p) ISBN 978-0-312-55660-0

In Patton's plucky debut, naïve daddy's girl Leelee Satterfield acquiesces yet again to her spoiled husband, Baker, who wants to move the family of four from Leelee's beloved Memphis to middle-of-nowhere Vermont to buy and run an inn. Leelee grudgingly agrees to keep the inn as is for a year while the former owners, less-than-personable German siblings Helga and Rolf Schloygin, dictate how the delicate Southern belle should run her home and the business. Though readers will initially agree with Helga's stern pointers, they will inevitably adore Leelee as she weathers each storm, gaining backbone while simultaneously shedding the helpless princess persona. Her transformation is (of course) accomplished with the aid of boisterous best friends, unlikely new allies and a heaping helping of girl power. The author is none-too-subtle about the changes (Leelee, for instance, “never, ever would have had the nerve to say any of the things I did if Daddy were still alive”), and, though owing heavily to formula, Patton's novel delivers on its feel-good moments and inspiring fantasies of finally making it on your own. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/17/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
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