Danielle's Reviews > The Fixer Upper

The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
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's review
Feb 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, chicklit, for-review
Read in June, 2010

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, Ella Kate, and loads of small town gossip. Guthrie, Georgia isn't without its charm which comes in the form of a couple of smooth talking great looking men, which help to ease the near constant reminder of the federal investigation that has her career looking about the same as the home she's trying to fix up.

During my husband's time in law school I think I must have met close to three or four dozen "Dempsey Killebrew's". That's not to say anything bad about those girls, they were usually just so focused on school work that they failed to notice some basic common sense matters we each take for granted every day. She's smart in every way that makes you successful in business; she's a quick learner, has wonderful follow-thru and is a tremendously hard-worker. But when it comes to real-life common sense skills, she's just as blinded as most of us when her heart gets in the way, even just a little. Unfortunately for Dempsey her "blindness" results in a federal investigation, the loss of her credibility, quite possibly her career and life as she knows it. But, as I said, though she lacks some basic common sense, she makes up for with elbow grease and a zest to survive when the cards are down. Her character was completely likable and page after page I couldn't help but become her own personal cheerleader.

One of the best things about the book though were all the wonderful characters. I'm a huge fan of books that take place in the South. At heart I think I belong there. Everyone is so friendly and easy going. In Guthrie, it's no different, everyone knows everyone and is in some way related to each other from years ago. Yes, it has it's draw backs, but the benefits (in my opinion) far out-weigh those. Carter Berryhill, Bobby Livesey, Jimmy Maynard, Shirlene Pepper and Ella Kate are some of the most fantastic characters I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Each so dynamic and personable in your own way. You feel as if they could be sitting in your very own living room sipping lemonade and talking about the weather. In each of their own ways they help Dempsey her newly acquired renovation project and her life.

The Fixer Upper was a pleasant surprise for me. Before picking it up for the tour I hadn't read much about it, purposefully, and the journey I went on with Dempsey was just what I needed at the moment. A little bit of suspense, with a John Grisham style criminal investigation in the background, but a perfect balance of Southern charm and personal reinvention. It's a perfect and quick summer read! One that had me flipping page after page without hesitation. Mary Kay Andrews actually has a few other books out, including one titled Deep Dish that I'm now dying to read.
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