Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton

I feel gypped. A month ago, I gave away three copies of Lisa Patton’s Yankee Doodle Dixie. I just read it. I’m not blaming the author. On the back of my ARC, it says, “Leelee Satterfield is back home in the South…accompanied by her three best friends who pepper her with advice, nudging and peach daiquiris, Leelee opens another restaurant and learns she has to prove herself yet again.” For Pete’s sake, Leelee doesn’t open that restaurant until twenty pages before the end of the book! And, that’s the highlight of the book to put on the back jacket? I don’t think so. Someone blew it this time, and it wasn’t Lisa Patton. Don’t get the readers expectations up for one story, and tell another one.

Let me tell you what this book is really about. In Patton’s earlier book, Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter, Leelee Satterfield packed up her two daughters and moved to Vermont because her husband, Baker, always had a dream to open an inn. Leelee’s marriage fell apart, and she opened a successful inn there before selling it. As Yankee Doodle Dixie opens, she and her daughters are on their way home to Memphis. She finds open arms and an open house with the woman who raised her, Kissie, who was her nurse and her refuge. Leelee is a now a single mother at 33, needing a job, a place to live, and to enroll her daughters in school. With advice from her friends, she manages to put her life back together again.

For most of the book, Leelee works as an office assistant at a radio station. And, some of the situations at the radio station are funny, particularly the stories about the disc jockey, Johnny. Leelee starts to find her confidence, finds a place to live, and deals patiently with a wacky neighbor.  She makes a few mistakes along the way, and learns what mistakes she made earlier. Yankee Doodle Dixie is the story of a woman finding her way home, to her roots, and the people and places she loves. And, it works on that level. Leelee and her friends are funny at times, although they can't seem to have a good time without drinks. And, Kissie is a wonderful character, as is Peter, the "Yankee Doodle" that Leelee was forced to leave behind. There's just not enough Peter in this book.

Just don't set up a reader who enjoys novels about food and restaurants by deceiving the reader, saying Leelee opens up a new restaurant. Twenty pages before the end of the book does not make a restaurant an important part of the book. The author didn't do anything wrong, as I said before. But, anyone reading the book jacket will not get what they expected. Someone sure made a mistake with the description of Yankee Doodle Dixie, and Patton will understand when I say, "Bless their hearts."

Lisa Patton's website is www.LisaPatton.com

Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton. Thomas Dunne Books. ©2011. ISBN 9780312556938 (hardcover), 320p.


*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.

19 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like a great book...although not what they advertised! Ha! Lesa, you'd be a great cover copywriter. :)

Tina's Blog said...

I also received an ARC of this one and thought the same thing. I did like the book, but it sure wasn't what I expected. I emailed Patton my review and in her response she told me she is working on a third book about Leelee....maybe we will get to see more of Peter in it?!

Ingrid King said...

Despite the false advertising, it still sounds like something I'd enjoy. I'll add it to my TBR list.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. I've seen book jackets that had the name of the characters wrong, gave away too much information, but this book cover was just deceptive. You're right. Give me the cover copywriter's job. And, three people told me it sounded like a good book even though I criticized the jacket, so I still had people interested. They could have done it right.

Lesa said...

Tina,

I liked Peter as a character. Maybe they did the book jacket description for the next book when she and Peter ARE working at the restaurant. I'm glad I wasn't the only one surprised by the book.

Lesa said...

Good, Ingrid. I hope you enjoy it!

Beth Hoffman said...

I agree that you would make a fabulous cover copywriter, Lesa!

Happy Wednesday, my friend!

Maria said...

Maybe the copywriter really liked the last 20 pages? Or maybe only read the last 20 pages???

:>)

Maria

Lesa said...

Thanks, Beth! It's going to be a better day that the rest of the week has been so far. Today, Denise Hamilton is appearing for Authors @ The Teague, and I went and bought those French mints for her, and candy for the rest of the staff. It will be a good day, I'm sure.

Lesa said...

Maria,

I'll never know, but they sure blew it.

Joe Barone said...

I appreciate your honesty in this review.

Pamela Keener said...

Thanks for the review & giving us the true. premise of this book.
You say Leelee and her friends can't have seem to have a good time without drinks. I say what the heck let them have fun *wink*
Truly I am just kidding.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Liz V. said...

Does the final cover, as well as the ARC cover, still have the same misleading description, after Tina's alert?

Lesa said...

I have no idea, Liz. I haven't seen a final copy of the book. I did mention in the review, though, that this was an ARC. But, my guess is, probably so.

Liz V. said...

Sorry for my confusion. Saw your ARC reference, but thought book was out longer -- just yesterday according to Amazon.

Lesa said...

Pam,

Loved your comment! Thanks! (Wink back)

professional writers said...

If be honest this book isn't the best one, but it is interesting too

Nancy said...

I knew as soon as I saw the cover art with yummy looking peaches that this was a book by Lisa Patton. Actually, I forgot the author's name, but remembered the book and the cover art.
I appreciate the honest review, Lesa. Now I will read the book when I get the chance, but know up front what to expect in the way of a premise and the locale. With the advance warning I will not be disappointed. I do want to keep up on the story arc for future book background.

Melisa Marzett said...

I like this publishing. Do not be disappointed. I appreciate your honesty in a review. Hope that you will not be feeling gypped anymore. Just order a quality academic essay and succeed; click here to check it out right now!