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Literary Friday: The Fixer Upper

Friday, April 22, 2011


I have always wanted to buy an old cottage and renovate it while maintaining its character.  I would try to use historically accurate materials and colors. When discussing the possibility with a friend, she suggested I read The Fixer Upper by Mary Kate Andrews (she knows how much I enjoy reading).  I think many of my followers who love DIY will enjoy this book.

Dempsey Killibrew is a willing exile to Guthrie, Georgia.  Her father, Mitch, has recently inherited the family ancestral home, Birdsong.  The house is in need of some TLC before it can be listed and sold. Mitch sends Demspey to Guthrie because she has absolutely nothing better to do: as a Washington, D.C. lobbyist in the midst of a political bribery scandal, Dempsey is jobless, homeless, broke, and unhirable within the beltway.  A home decorating magazine junkie, Dempsey accepts the challenge and heads to Georgia.

Guthrie is a tiny town about an hour south of Atlanta.  When Dempsey arrives, she meets many characters almost as colorful as the Pepto-Bismol-hued Birdsong: and they all seem to know her "bidness" (that's "business" for you folks who live north of the Mason-Dixon line).  The whole town knows about Birdsong, her scandalous firing from Hodder and Associates, and the FBI investigation. Dempsey finds that Birdsong also comes with a squatter: one of Dempsey's elderly distant cousins named Ella Kate and Shorty, her cocker spaniel.  The house needs a new roof, so Dempsey hires a talented and ingenious general contractor who helps Dempsey with the restoration. An over-zealous realtor appears on the scene and paints over the Pepto-Bismol pink with Benjamin Moore's Dill Pickle Green (I truly can't decide which color is worse).  There is also a father/son attorney duo hired to represent Dempsey as the FBI investigates her involvement in the scandal; the FBI agents are fun characters, too.

This book is a fun, easy read and would be a great book to take to the beach or lake this summer.  I enjoy books with the theme of "finding one's home" especially when it is completely unexpected by the character.  Plus, the plot has a heaping-helping of romance and DIY.  The Fixer Upper has been the perfect read for a very busy week.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. This book sounds great!!! Call me crazy Ricki but yes i judge a book by it's cover and why is it i am seldom disappointed? This cover immediately caught my eye and said "Fun" to me!!

    Do you want to know what i am reading right now? Don't laugh or think where have i been all these years or better yet ..did i not go to school?
    To kill a Mockingbird!!! My son's teacher just read it to them and he loved it. Yes my husband , older brother all read it in school. I swear by the time my age group came along they took out everything then put it back in after i finished school! Anyways i am loving this book. I hate being out of the loop on things.
    Sorry for the long comment!!

    I love literary Friday...I am a big reader too!!

  2. I always enjoy Mary Kate Andrews' books. Didn't know she had a new one out. Savannah Blues was her first book and it's one that I enjoy re-reading. It's a good summer read as well.
    Carole (Stapes)

  3. I saw this book at CVS and was tempted to buy it. Thanks to your review...I think I will. I need a few good reads for vacation. Thanks!


  4. Oh Ricki Sweetie...
    What a gorgeous review. I can't wait to read it now as well. I will be checking out CVS seeing as how Jane saw it there. Maybe our CVS will have it as well. I will keep you posted. I love reading these types.

    I too, judge a book by its cover when I am picking up one to read. How could you not want to read this one? I love these two bags she is carrying, and I adore that skirt. Can't wait to read it.

    Have a glorious weekend sweet friend. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

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  6. I am surprised I haven't heard about this book before ! It sounds like fun reading; I should buy it. Thank you for this wonderful review !
    I wish you and yours a wonderful and blessed Easter ! Oh , I am reading Howard Jacobson's The Frinkler Question , but I am kind of lost ...I don't know why ... :)
    /for some reason my comment was posted two times , sorry about that /

  7. This sounds like a very good book. You write the best reviews.

    Once again, congratulations to Shelley. I know you are a proud momma & deservedly so!

  8. Your review was great; I'll see if my library has a copy.

    And Pamela, I didn't read TKAMB in school either. My husband and I read it a few summers ago (for the 50th anniversary).

  9. I read that book recently and thought it was a good read!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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