Lisa Patton's debut novel Whistin' Dixie in a Nor'easter was a book I absolutely enjoyed when I read it. Leelee Satterfield has just moved to Vermont to help fulfill her husband Baker's lifelong dream of running an inn. While Leelee doesn't want to leave Memphis she does her best to find something positive in her new life, even when Baker takes up with an aging ski instructor leaving Leelee high and dry to run the inn by herself. The weather in Vermont is less than ideal as well and Leelee is first snowed in and then must experience mud season. Although there are many things in Vermont that are not going Leelee's way and her friends are encouraging her to move back home, her chef Peter is someone she might not mind being more than friends with.
Yankee Doodle Dixie picks up right where Patton's first book left off. Even though it has been months since I read Whistlin Dixie and I do remember a lot of it, Patton does a great job refreshing this story again and even readers who didn't read her first book could pick up this second installment.
While I still love Leelee, I also loved the cast of quirky characters that Patton created to surround Leelee with. Her new job at the radio station provides interesting co-workers, an aging rock star who gets Leelee's heart beating again, and a narcissistic boss. Her new neighbor in the house Leelee is renting is a Pampered Chef consultant. And a Tupperware consultant. And an Amway consultant. And he cannot pronounce his r's leading to rather entertaining conversations.
Leelee's exploits made me laugh, but I most of all wished for her to find some happiness with Peter who she left in Vermont. Although the two talk on the phone, there is 1,473 miles between them and long distance relationships aren't known to work. I loved Leelee's girlfriends who are introduced in Whistlin' Dixie. Now that Leelee is back in Memphis the three friends are in on the daily events in their friend's life and the girls are good for a few laughs.
Although Patton tied this one up neatly, I am holding out for a third installment. I enjoy the different predicaments Leelee finds herself in, and am sure with the opening of the new restaurant she is running there are numerous story possibilities. Perhaps Patton can find another great Dixie title (Way Down South in Dixie? or Look Away Dixie Land?) to continue Leelee's story. Once I started Yankee Doodle Dixie it was hard to put down, and I'll be recommending this one to many friends.
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