Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Waking Up in Dixie” as Want to Read:
Waking Up in Dixie
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Waking Up in Dixie

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  1,032 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hat Club comes a hilarious story of marriage and love and second chances

When Elizabeth Mooney escaped the shame of her “white trash” family to marry the crown prince of her small town, Howell Whittington, she never dreamed that thirty years later, she’d end up trapped in a loveless marriage to the cruel banker who’s f
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Waking Up in Dixie, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Waking Up in Dixie

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Diane  Sugars
Aug 04, 2011 Diane Sugars rated it it was ok
This was just one of those "Eh, it was ok" books. It did hold my attention and did not take a long time to read, but substance wise, this story just was not up there with some of the other books I have read recently. I will probably check out more of this authors books just to see what they are like. I do have to say that I did like how this story ended and if you like stories where everything is tied up with a pretty bow at the end, then you would probably enjoy this book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Although this book was not quite what I expected, I did enjoy it. I thought it was going to be a story poking fun at living in the South because of the title since the book cover used the word 'hilarious' in its review. Even though I did not find it to be particularly humorous, it was a good read. In this story, Elizabeth portrays a society wife who is completely dominated by her husband, Howell Whittington, his mother who runs both of their lives, and her daughter who has been spoiled by Howell ...more
This book was okay. I liked the idea of the book. The whole terrible husband/father wakes up from coma changed and determined to make amends and fix his marriage plot caught my interest pretty quickly. But there were a few things that kept me from really enjoying the book. First I could have done without all the religious content. And though I felt bad for Elizabeth because her husband was a manslut and a worthless husband I just couldn't warm up to her. She just kept doing things throughout the ...more
Lin Stepp
Nov 12, 2014 Lin Stepp rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful "turn around" book in which several characters make profound changes that take their lives on a new, more purposeful and positive course. I love a read like that … so I really enjoyed this book. Elizabeth had married well by wedding the wealthy Howell Whittington…. and neither Elizabeth or Howe are very admirable people as the book begins. But then Howe has a stroke in church … that begins to shake up everything and everyone. And as he recovers, he is changed … and his change ...more
May 17, 2014 Maam rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I would classify this as a fun poolside/beach read. Interesting story but not terribly well written. I felt like several things were repeated too much and the whole story of PJ was too vague. When Elizabeth would wrestle in her mind about him, I'd wonder, did I miss something because I felt like their relationship was never developed enough for the reader to grasp its importance to Elizabeth.

The story was predictable but I actually liked that. I wanted a light, fun, uplifting read and that's ex
Nov 02, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
I listened to this audio book and it was nothing short of enchanting. The author and the reader combined to make a wonderful experience for me. The characters were so true and so real that I am sure I will be thinking about them and wondering how they are doing for a long time to come.

Howell Widdington is a Southern Gentleman in the worst way until his brain tumor inducing stroke. He wakes up a different man and it's fascinating to see how his world and his family evolve around the changes.
Ola Norman
Jun 29, 2016 Ola Norman rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read about relationships and marriage. Elizabeth is ready to give up on her marriage when her husband Howe has a stroke and brain tumor. When he awakes from a coma months later, he is a completely different man. He's more like the man she fell in love with so many years ago except now he curses and cannot seem to tell a lie. He also realizes how hard he made life for Elizabeth. Perfect ending!
Jan 25, 2014 Cathie rated it it was amazing
There is much more to this book than what I anticipated. I thought I was getting a funny, southern chick book similar to your Mary Kay Andrews read. This book was about a family who was self destructing under in their own self-important image, but due to a medical crisis was forced to get real. A great story and an enjoyable read.
Feb 22, 2014 Danielle rated it it was ok
A little too much saving grace for me
Feb 15, 2014 Ann rated it did not like it
I can't stand books that are written as religious propaganda without disclosure. Wasted my time.
Apr 17, 2012 Clare rated it liked it
(If you liked the novel "What Alice Forgot" - this novel is a nice companion piece.)

Elizabeth is unhappily married but too scared to leave. Her grown daughter is an alcoholic brat, about to flunk out of college and her overbearing mother-in-law is still dictating decorating choices. She's having an emotional (but never sexual) affair with an old friend and her husband is frequenting hooker (WTF?) when suddenly, her husband has a stroke in the middle of church.

When her husband, Howe, recovers fr
Oct 10, 2012 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very cute story. I listened to the audio book, and it was extremely well read and enacted! It's a story of redemption and grace, although it is in no way a "preachy" book.

Howell, a rich scoundrel, is seated beside his wife, Elizabeth, in church when he suffers a stroke. After being comatose, he awakens as a changed man, regretting his misdeeds and wanting to make things right.

Elizabeth had left her white trash past life where she was "Bessie Mae" to marry Howell and move to the upper
Audrey Nelson
Sep 12, 2013 Audrey Nelson rated it it was amazing
I was a little disappointed in the story. I'd loved the female camaraderie of the Red Hat Society books and the humor and hometown/family feeling of Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch. This one is not much on humor and the family ties are pretty awkward.

This book made me uncomfortable for the main character throughout the book. It was frustrating, like real life, and maybe it was just too close to home for me in a few ways. The ending did surprise me. I'd hoped she'd finally be brave and bold and move o
Nov 08, 2011 Joanne rated it really liked it

A fun book! Caught my interest at the local library and enjoyed trying this author.

Elizabeth becomes a woman of social standing in her Georgia town after humble roots in a dysfunctional family. As an ideal mid life wife she maintains a front and keeps family affairs secret. Although she may have married the most prestigious man in town, he definitely wasn’t a model husband! After Howell suffers a stroke in church and comes out of his coma he is a changed man! He’s a model husband with emotions
Victoria Griffin
Nov 24, 2016 Victoria Griffin rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2011 Tracy rated it really liked it
Really good book - thanks for the recommendation Janet.
Elizabeth is married to Howell Whittington of Whittington, GA. Rich but not a kind man. The have two adult children, Patty in college and Charles in law school. Howell loses consciousness in church one Sunday and ends up having a small stroke due to a brain tumor. He has brain surgery and stays in a coma for 6 months. When he awakes he has a total personality change - some changes are good and some not so good. This is the story of this fami
J.C. Wing
Aug 10, 2013 J.C. Wing rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read written by Haywood Smith...but it certainly won't be my last. I read this book within a day...I had a hard time putting it down. I enjoyed all of these characters, liked watching them evolve and enjoyed this unique story line about how a man is changed after surviving a stroke and brain tumor and how it effects not only him but his family and the inhabitants of a town that is run chiefly by said man and his mother. It was about many different serious things but ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Cara rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. It raises many topics that arise in households today and from yesteryear. The one thing I think that threw me off was the word usage for the word laughed ......unless you moved to Dixie from the other countries you wouldn't hear them using chortle and guffaw in everyday language for that area, possibly I missed a character being from an area where those words are fluent and if so apology is sent. So this is not a drag on this book however, the story was well put together and ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Virginia rated it really liked it
This was a great everything ends happy but without a forced ending, kept my interest all the way.

So the first time I listened to the tape, now I read the book. It is amazing how different a feel both ways are, I never listened to tapes before and now I love them, esp if it is an intricate book ( this was not ). I really liked this book. Part of it is people my age (59) making a drastic change in their lives. It is mostly a happy, funny book but it amazes me that I can still cry knowing the story
Samantha Garlock
Aug 08, 2011 Samantha Garlock rated it really liked it
I enjoy Ms. Smith's style of writing immensely. I love how she involves the reader in the story, plot, or scheme right for the get go...I LOVE THAT! I enjoyed this read I did have a slight issue with the past deeds of her one of her major was more of a personal thing having been in Elizabeth's shoes...if she was 20 years younger it could have been my story...minus the privilege and the alcoholic family...but everything else nailed. That being said I DID enjoy the read. Can't wait ...more
May 24, 2011 Elizabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I enjoyed the story. It's about a relationship between Elizabeth and Howell who have been married for many years. He has not been faithful to her, but she has done her best to keep the family together. The central part of the story centers around changes he undergoes as a result of a stroke, and how this affects the family dynamics. The religious undertones annoyed me some, but not enough to stop listening to the story. The family issues and how they were resolved were interesting. The narrator, ...more
Amy Bond
Aug 26, 2012 Amy Bond rated it really liked it
I've read several books by this author (all Red Hats) so I wanted to read a non-RH one. I really liked this novel. It's not necessarily one I'll re-read a bunch but there were a lot of times when I actually laughed out loud. Smith nailed it with some of the dialogue & reactions. There were also times that I wanted to throttle Elizabeth for being uptight or kinda stuck up. But that's a typical personality for a real Southern Belle in that age bracket. (I see it in a bunch of my family & t ...more
Kayla Sloan
Not as good as the author's "Red Hat Club" series, but not a bad read overall.

A few questions/comments:

Why did the book start out with portions in the current and portions in the past and then drop the post completely and only have the present?

Some parts, like visiting Elizabeth's mother and a couple other scenes seemed unnecessary to the overall plot.

Some parts seemed overstated and drawn out.
Jul 06, 2013 Marca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy listening to these summer humor sagas (audio books), don't know why. This time around, Howell Whittington, a rich and powerful a son-of-a-bitch who owns the town, suffers a stroke. Prior to the stroke, Howell was a terrible husband; he ignored his wife Elizabeth and was unfaithful to her at every turn. The stroke magically transforms him the best person and husband in the world. Fantasy, yes. But fun to listen to.
Jul 09, 2011 Julie rated it it was amazing
Loved (with a capital L) this book. I don't think I've laughed so hard while reading a book. This is the first book by this author that I have read but it won't be the last. Wonderful sense of humor. A great read. Had me thinking about the story and characters before falling asleep and laughing out loud. I had to give chapter by chapter reaps to my non-reading mom because I had her as addicted to the story as I was. I can't wait to try her other books.
Jul 01, 2013 Patty rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I enjoyed the "second chances" theme in this novel. 2 people were actually terrible spouses to one another until the husband has a stroke and nearly dies. When he wakes from his coma he is completely different and inspires change in his whole family. I also enjoy that the author lives right down the road a piece and Whittington might as well be my hometown - just the right distance from Atlanta and Blue Ridge.
Apr 16, 2015 Trish rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and quick read, and watching Elizabeth Whittington come to terms with the change in her husband is fascinating. Although I did wonder, more than once, if he hadn't had any money if her decisions would be so ambivalent. I felt as though her own feelings about her husband's money were glossed over. I never felt for a moment that respectability would mean very much to her if he were poor or they had to struggle for money. For that I give it a solid B-, but also a recommend.
Sep 10, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Once again, I really enjoyed reading a story created by Haywood Smith. She has a wonderful way of making characters relatable, even when they live in a world very unlike your own. Very good at creating a plot where you find yourself laughing, crying, and simply sharing the experiences with the characters. I look forward to reading another of her books!
Sep 22, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
What a hoot! Chick lit, I suppose, altho I don't care for the nomenclature. Howe and Elizabeth have their work cut out for them after he wakes up from a stroke in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Besides all the southern small town stuff, it was great reinforcement on the need for honesty and accountability in marriage and family.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: Waking Up in Dixie - 7th March Book 1 4 Mar 19, 2013 02:46PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Waking Up in Dixie 1 2 Jan 16, 2012 02:57PM  
  • The Ladies of Garrison Gardens
  • Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter (Dixie, #1)
  • Mrs. Pringle of Fairacre (Fairacre Series #17)
  • The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell
  • Quite a Year for Plums
  • A Year at 32 September Way
  • Exodus
  • The Hot Flash Club Chills Out
  • The Book of Peach
  • The Tiara Club
  • His Other Wife
  • Goodbye, Earl: A Bad Girl Creek Novel
  • Hex and the Single Girl
  • Beyond Summer (Blue Sky Hill #3)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide
  • The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes (Kudzu Debutantes, #2)
  • The Parting Glass
  • The Chick Palace

Share This Book