After her boss is caught in a political scandal, fledgling Washington lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father’s offer to help turn Birdsong– the fading Victorian mansion he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia–into a real estate cash cow. But Birdsong turns out to be a moldering Pepto-Bismol-pink dump with duct-taped windows, a driveway full of junk, and a grumpy distant relation who’s claiming squatter’s rights. Stuck in a tiny town where everyone seems to know her business, Dempsey grits her teeth and rolls up her sleeves, and begins her journey back to the last place she ever expected: home.
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 about small-towns and tight-knit communities and this book was no exception. Dempsey is an intelligent young woman with a very naive outlook on life. At times she was a bit too naive for me to even believe though. On one hand I saw a woman still desperately seeking the approval of her father, who had somehow transferred that need to her boss. But on the other hand she was supposed to be this intelligent lawyer turned lobbyist, expertly navigating Washington. So the fact that she didn’t recognize or pay attention to specific details and events that would clue her in to her boss’ dirty dealings was a bit far-fetched for me. But other than that I enjoyed Dempsey and her awakening.
Other characters made this novel fun and enjoyable as well. Although she worked my nerves a time or two, the crotchety old distant cousin, Ella Kate, gave me a good laugh and gave the book some sass and spunk. Tee Berryhill was just as sweet and charming as his father Carter, while Jimmy was a hot mess, but a nice hot mess.
Overall the story was engaging and the characters were colorful. I’m still a fan of Mary Kay Andrews, and will continue to buy her books. If you love a good chick lit book, pick this one up.
Filed in: Chick Lit, Fiction, Reviews, Romance Tags: Books, Chick Lit, Fiction, Mary Kay Andrews, Review, Romance