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The Fixer Upper

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  10,841 ratings  ·  1,075 reviews

“Entirely satisfying, an expert balance of warmth and compassion, terrific supporting characters, a little steamy sex, and just enough suspense to keep you from guessing how it will all go down.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A sassy, sexy, sometimes poignant look at small town Southern life, as only New York Times bestseller Mary Kay Andrews can tell it, The Fixer Upper is

Kindle Edition, 419 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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There are a few things I don't like about this book. I find it a little annoying when authors throw out brand names excessively. Describing the watches two people are wearing and telling me that her Panerai trumped his Rolex...well it's just a little silly. A bunch of other brands are mentioned which could have been paid product placement.
The other thing which left me feeling somewhere between "blah" and "meh", was the police procedures described. I'd love to know where that old chestnut of a p
It's another scandalous news day in Washington, D.C. with prominent public relations firm owner, Alex Hodder, being investigated for bribing Congressman Anthony Licata. Unfortunately, his young lobbyist, Dempsey, is caught in the crossfire with him. Vulnerable and naive she might have been but that changes quickly as she realizes what a ninny she was to believe her ever-so-sleazy boss. After having lost her job and her self respect, and fearing that no one will hire her, she visits her father in ...more
Carolyn Hill
This is light (to the point of air-heady) southern chick-lit. From its popularity at my local library (it was always on reserve and there was a long wait), you'd think this must be a winner. I've enjoyed other efforts by Mary Kay Andrews, and I was drawn to the fixer upper part of the story. (Anyone who knows me can attest that I'm a house person.) While her descriptions of renovating and decorating show that M.K.A. is really into it (check out her blog for pics of her adorable re-done beach hou ...more
Where to begin?

This book is cute. Young girl, caught in a scandal, moves to a small town to fix up an old house and of course she has lots of "life" moments and finds romance along the way. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a light, summer romance read. And it is...there are just some parts of this book that really bugged me.

First of all, I understand books like this aren't really meant to be realistic, but Andrews' lack of reality in this book gets a little extreme. There were just parts here
If you're working on a fixer-upper (like my husband and I), and looking for some literary respite...skip this. Dempsey Killebrew loses her DC lobbying job, and ends up trying to fix up her family's crumbling antebellum mansion in Georgia. She miraculously develops super-renovating abilities (don't get me started on how fast she learns and works--it defies the laws of time and space), and finds a handyman who works at about 1/10th the going rate and ten times as fast as the average contractor.

I'd really give this a 1.5 star rating but because Ella Kate was a cantankerous, old bitch who made me laugh, I'll swing up to 2.

So this story is about a vapid, young lawyer who is framed for bribery and mishandling taxpayer money...I guess...and winds up in a two-stoplight town in the south, fixing a broken-down house that was just left to her egomaniacal father in a will. She falls in love with a jerk who pretends to not be a jerk but she also sort of has the hots for the jerk's dad. There's a
It was a imperfect, formulaic and escapist. The writing wasn't super quality, but it was more than competent. I enjoyed it.
Also, I recently read Nora Robert's "Tribute", and it was surprising how similar these two books were, while also being very different. Perhaps it's like the difference between peanut butter and oatmeal cookies: they are both sweets, meant for dessert not nutrition, though they have some nutritional value (protein vs fiber), and you can enjoy them in a convenient way althoug
Twenty-eight year old Dempsey Killebrew has just learned a hard lesson: the real reason people in power have assistants. One minute, Killebrew is a rising PR associate, Georgetown JD in hand, the next, she finds herself at the wrong end of a political scandal involving her PR firm and her slick, backstabbing boss. Looking for career advice, she looks to her dad who, in turn, offers her a less than stellar “opportunity” to flip a family property in Guthrie, GA. Dempsey reluctantly packs her high- ...more
Dempsey Killebrew is involved in a political scandal in Washington DC., she gets fired and needs to get out of town until this all dies down. Her father has just inherited an antebellum home in Guthrie GA from his maternal grandmother, called, "Birdsong," and offers Dempsey a deal. She will go to Guthrie and touch up the house a bit and get it ready to sell and they will split the profits. Dempsey loves interior design and figures she can make some money, do something fun, and hide out in this t ...more
Dempsey Killebrew is a junior lobbyist in Washington D.C. whose boss has taken her under his wing and made her his prodigy, so she thinks, until he is charged with bribing a senator and uses Dempsey as the fall guy. She loses her job and her name and picture is spread all over the news as the girl who hired prostitutes for the senator. Dempsey's unlikable father has just inherited his family home in small town Georgia and, not having much choice, Dempsey packs up and heads to Georgia to "flip" t ...more
Just - The romance reader
I am a huge Mary Kay Andrews fan, and know that I am not alone. As a southern woman, I just adore the picture the paints of quaint southern charm. And she never fails to create a main character that is a strong, yet sweet and gentile southern belle. I wish I was a Mary Kay Andrews character!

The moment I read about the upcoming release of The Fixer Upper, I rushed to reserve my copy, and couldn't wait to start reading. I finished the book in near record time for me, it was that good. I loved that
I made myself finish this book, but now I'm wondering why. Complete waste of time. Stupid characters, stupid plot. The only redeeming line in the book was this:

"New paint was about hope. It was about believing that underneath the dirt and the crud and the hurt, it was possible to find something solid and substantial. Something worth saving. And when you found something good, wasn't it right to try and fix it?"

I'm convinced that the author didn't even write that line because it was so out of pla
THE FIXER UPPER, the latest novel by Mary Kay Andrews was exactly what I've come to expect from this talented Southern writer. I've been looking forward to this release ever since I read about it on her blog when she first started creating the story. I thought the premise was clever, combining a dramatic story of political bribery and blackmail with just the right amount of Southern charm and romance. And lets not forget the wicked wit that is ever present in Ms. Andrews novels.

One of the things
Becky R.
I've read several other books by Andrews and been entertained by creative story lines developed with southern charm. Honestly though, I didn't find this newest book about Dempsey and her move to flip a house while she hid away from her life to be believable on way too many levels. I had a hard time believing that someone unfamiliar with home repair could manage to turn around an old mansion? Besides that, my guess is that the old lady that was the "squatter" in the story was supposed to win her ...more
From the city to the sticks, The Fixer Upper is just the right balance of fun, suspense and romance. Dempsey Killebrew is a recently fired lobbyist from one of the biggest Lobbying firms in Washington DC, who has now been sent to the sticks to "fix up" a historic family home passed down from her Great Uncle, under her father's decree. Little does she know the house is basically a frame with great plumbing. Not only that, it comes with its very own squatter in the form of her "distant" cousin, El ...more
“This house here is a beauty. One of a kind. You just need to shine her up a little, show her some love.”

Meet Dempsey Killebrew. A young woman living in D.C. as a lobbyist that has just been fired by her high-powered public relations firm after they were caught in a political scandal.

She's a young woman, who has just lost everything she's ever known so far in life and is now unemployed. She seeks the help of her father, Mitch, whom I have to say I dislike. He basically is married to a much youn
I love Mary Kay Andrew’s books because she is a master at creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere in her stories. In The Fixer Upper, Andrews weaves another small-town tale of one woman’s awakening to all the things that really bring her alive. Convinced that being a lobbyist and loyal assistant to her disgraced boss was her calling, Dempsey is surprised to find more accomplishment and joy than she could imagine, fixing up her father’s old homestead, Birdsong.

I almost always love a story
Robbie Sparrow
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the first novel I've read by Mary Kay Andrews. I'm a Georgia girl born and bred, and I kept seeing her books in the bookstore touting Ms. Andrews as a local writer. I finally picked up the novel Fixer Upper. The book intrigued me since my husband and I are in the process of buying a house. This book has it all- political scandals, cover-ups, a love story, and my favorite part - a depiction of the south that is not stereotypical, but is honest and endearing. The main character in Fixer Up ...more
Honestly, this book wasn't long on plot, drama, suspense, romance, intrigue, or really anything that normally makes for an engaging good read. Yet, strangely, I really still enjoyed this book. I like the author's writing style. I also really enjoy fixing on my older fixer-upper of a house, so I could relate to the main character. However, I have been working on my old home for 15 years and have not become the "professional" remodeler that Andrews makes Dempsey out to be. Also, where can I hire t ...more
I really liked this book. The character faces some pretty big challenges - in the form of an FBI investigation and a run-down house her father inherited. She's not inept, she's not scatter brained. She jumps in and tries to fix the house which in turn helps fix her life. She works hard. She listens to some trusted advisors. She does something besides sit around her living room wishing and hoping things would change. That sets this apart from most chick lit. This is a capable, smart, main charact ...more
Tonya Thomas
As usual, Mary Kay Andrews delivers a solid, entertaining read, although I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a little more to the plot. I kept expecting something dramatic to happen (and the scene at the end with Dempsey's corrupt boss was indeed good), but otherwise it was a pretty linear story with no great highs and no deep lows. As a DIY nut (well, reading or watching it on TV), I enjoyed the scenes where Dempsey works on the house to bring it back to life, but as someone who has done ...more
I loved the Barbie pink c.d.'s for this audiobook.
I loved the imagery of Birdsong (even though I find the name unoriginal).

I disliked the term "mattress dance" and I though that actor's portrayal of T made him sound like Gomer Pyle. But other than that I loved this book. I found the character to be a little too naive and a little too whiny in the beginning but I grew to like her by the end. I strongly disliked her mother (and the actor's portrayal of the mother) but I found the other supporting
This was just a "romance novel." I can't relate to stories about impossibly beautiful, successful people with shallow personalities - so much name dropping of high priced brands! The main character has superhuman sped and stamina, stripping the floor of her giant kitchen or tiling the countertops in one day. Most of the main characters are attorneys who dine at country clubs. If that is supposed to make them funny, I missed the humor. If you validate yourself through yuppie purchases, you might ...more
I read some really good reviews of this book by professional reviewers who usually review good books, so I guess I expected the book to be more than it was. It was too drawn out for me, and could have been edited down. I did like the parts of the book that were about renovation but found other parts too fanciful to be realistic. (Such as the way the FBI agents acted and spoke).

I did finish it, so I suppose it was not that bad. A forgettable summer read. but then again, I was not expecting great
Grace Baumgarten
I agree with much of the criticism expressed
regarding how unrealistic some of this story seemed. Especially regarding
Dempsey's sudden skills as a DIY home restorer, and also how the relationship
between Dempsey and Tee was underdeveloped. Tee expressed
such serious feelings so quickly but yet there seems there is no context for
the development of those committed feelings. There is not much
"Getting to know you" time. Tee doesn't seem at all fazed that his new girlfriend
is in a heap of trouble;
Cenna Lipscomb
I don't understand all the negative views regarding this book. I found it charming and loved reading about a suburb basically of a big city, that hasn't let it's proximity to a major metropolis change it much. Sure the heroine, Dempsey, was naive, sure she went to Georgetown Univ. and became a lawyer, however those schools don't school you in street smarts, which she was severely lacking, probably too busy being book smart, and hoodwinked by a slimy greaseball of a boss. In the end she wised up ...more
Carley Tall
I've read Mary Kay Andrews before and thought her stuff was decent. This one is just as predictable as the others and has its fair share of lengthy, unnecessary descriptions. And, I really got annoyed at the basic, typical plot of the book...Oil company rep/lobbyist bribes Republican official to vote their way on a bill through bribery and prostitutes. Big evil Oil company, Corrupt Republicans...a tired, unappreciated story.

Oh, and there's a sex scene.

I wouldn't recommend this one.
I really tried with this one, but there were things happening that were pissing me off. The fact that the woman had no friggin backbone to tell an old lady to get the hell outta her house was really annoying. I think I would have gotten into it with the renovating of the house, if that part hadn't ruined it for me. I could only make it to disc 3 and had to just quit.
Kate Christensen
This book is terrible.

The entire first half is about a spoiled rich girl with daddy issues fixing up a house. You get all kinds of juicy details like:

"I plugged in the heat gun and started to work. If the tiles had come up with relative ease, the stubborn black adhesive was a whole different ball game."


"I had to aim the heat gun inches from the mastic with my left hand, use the heat to soften it, and after precisely two minutes, quickly scrape up the goo with my right hand
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Andrews has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia. She is a former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While a reporter in Savannah, GA, she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

She also writes the Callahan Garrity Mystery series and the Truman Kicklighter Mystery series under the pen name Ka
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