One good thing about being home is my access to audio books. Before Christmas, I left off near the end of The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews. Thankfully, it has gotten me through the first of this week back at work.
But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise when she arrives in Guthrie. "Bird Droppings" would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol-pink dump with duct-taped windows and a driveway full of junk. There's also a murderously grumpy old lady, one of Dempsey's distant relations, who has claimed squatter's rights and isn't moving out. Ever.
All Dempsey can do is roll up her sleeves and get to work. And before long, what started as a job of necessity somehow becomes a labor of love and, ultimately, a journey that takes her to a place she never expected—back home again."
Synopsis: I've read several other books by Andrews and been entertained by creative story lines developed with southern charm. Honestly though, I didn't find this newest book about Dempsey and her move to flip a house while she hid away from her life to be believable on way too many levels. I had a hard time believing that someone unfamiliar with home repair could manage to turn around an old mansion? Besides that, my guess is that the old lady that was the "squatter" in the story was supposed to win her way into your heart. Sadly, I thought she was way too grouchy, too deceitful (hiding good from the home in her room), and too over the top. It was easy to see where that story was headed, but I just couldn't like her, and never did. Why the heck didn't she just kick the old lady out?!? The romance felt cliche, and her efforts to recover her good name from the scandal, all just seemed overplayed.
Although I've liked some of Andrew's other novels, The Fixer Upper just wasn't one of those reads. The story is fairly simple, the characters over the top in some cases, and the situations unbelievable. Other reviewers have liked the light escapist fun, which I enjoy from time to time as well, but this one didn't fit that for me.
*FTC Disclosure: Review was based off of a library copy of the novel.