An Author and Her Books, Lisa Patton
Lisa Patton writes fiction that oozes Southern charm
Southern fiction is described as books set in the South or written by authors from the South. You have probably read some of these authors but didn’t know it is considered Southern fiction. Those authors include Joshilyn Jackson, Fannie Flagg, Pat Conroy, Sarah Addison Allen, and many others. Southern fiction embodies family, values, friends, comedy, down-home charm, and beautiful settings to transport the reader into a fascinating world of fun and interesting characters that have flaws as we all do.
I enjoy reading new-to-me authors. I don’t always want to read the latest Literary novel or fast-paced thriller; the writing doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, nor does it have to be an award-winning book; it has to be fun and has to make me feel good and make me glad that I read the book. Once I read one of an author’s books that checks those boxes, I can’t help myself; I have to read the entire backlist. Author Lisa Patton was a new-to-me author that I discovered when I received Rush: A Novel as a postal book club book, and I enjoyed it so much that I read her other three books one after the other as soon as I finished Rush.
Lisa Patton grew up in Memphis and went to an all-girls school until college. She transitioned to the University of Alabama, earning her BA in Communications. A music lover at heart, she has been involved in theater, radio, and TV. After a three-year stint in the restaurant business in Vermont as an innkeeper (the inspiration for her first book), she moved back to Memphis. Soon after moving home, she started to work for singer Michael McDonald, working on several albums and video projects. She has two grown sons, lives in Nashville with her husband and doggie, Rosie, and is working on her fifth book. You can find out more about Lisa on her website.
If you enjoy Southern fiction, here are four to add to your TBR:
Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter: A Novel - Leelee’s life seems perfect; she has a wonderful husband, two children, lifelong friends, and then her life is uprooted as she follows her husband to Vermont to be an innkeeper. Once she gets there, she discovers that Vermont isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Between problems with the Inn, more snow than one can imagine, all these new quirky characters in her life, she feels adrift and is ready to move back to Memphis. A contemporary light, fun read, a feel-good story with plenty of southern charm throughout, this book takes you through the highs and lows of life to come out on the other side a better, stronger person than you were when you started.
Yankee Doodle Dixie: A Novel - This book picks up where Whistlin’ leaves off. Leelee is back home in the South, back with her friends and her life and her memories of Vermont, both good and bad. She tries to move forward while things from the past leave her wanting more from her life. Plenty of Southern charm, friends, and family make this second book in the series an easy read, just like the first.
Southern as a Second Language: A Novel - The third and final book in the Dixie Series has Leelee opening a new restaurant with the chef from the Vermont Inn. And then, her past walks in and throws a monkey-wrench into everything. Her crazy friends and second mother are back to add entertainment to the canvas as we see Leelee trying to move forward while dealing with new problems, dealing with her past, and trying to create a future for herself that she so desires.
Rush: A Novel - Her most recent novel takes place at a Southern university around a sorority and what it means to the students and the mothers to “rush” the sorority. The students want to belong, mothers want their daughters to belong as much, if not more, and what stands in the way for both in achieving their goals. The premise was foreign to me as I never rushed a sorority, nor did I ever live away from home while in school. The characters are complex, some unlikeable and others you would love to be friends with. The novel deals with class and what that means in the South and looks at the relationships between mothers, daughters, and female friends.
I enjoyed Leelee, her adventures, and her friends. You can read the three books in the series in any order as the back story is mentioned several times in the second and third books. However, they build on each other and are best read in order to understand all the intricacies and nuances of the characters and their antics.
Here are some links to articles and videos about Lisa Patton:
A Word on Words interview, J.T. Ellison with Lisa Patton.
Studio 10 interview with Lisa about her book Southern as a Second Language.
A Thousand Doors, Anthology - An anthology written with fourteen other writers, edited by J.T. Ellison
If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Patton’s books yet, maybe one of these will interest you. I found that I enjoyed Rush the most, and if I had to recommend one to start with, I’d say to start there.
That’s it for today; the tax deadline is on Friday this week, so at this point, I don’t know if I’ll get the normal Friday links post completed before then or not. If not, I’ll be late posting it on Friday. Maybe after this deadline, I can get a little ahead on the weekly posts, so I’m not always feeling behind. Have a great week and happy reading!