My love of all things Southern is no secret, so it pretty much directly follows that Mary Kay Andrews would be my favorite chick lit author of all time. In an impressive show of control, I spent four long months on the wait list for this book at the library and of course finished it almost overnight. The book is about GA, so what can I say? Ms. Andrews even states in an interview at http://www.bookreporter.com/ that her inspiration for the town of Guthrie was Griffin, GA! I have family in Griffin and I'm very familiar with the area. I wasn't quite as excited about that though, as I was when I found out that the author has an entire book set on Tybee Island. I grew up spending summers on Tybee and my family owns property on the island. Getting to read references to Fannies on the Beach was pretty much the highlight of my reading career. (Definitely check out Ms. Andrews' books Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze to read some awesome chick lit centered in my childhood stomping ground).
I'm not typically a chick lit fan, but I can't get enough of Mary Kay Andrews and The Fixer Upper was no different. Hilarious, sweet, charming, full of lovable, quirky characters and, although the plot can veer into the outrageous, the characters are always believable. I'm also almost never a fan of author's using dialect because so many do it so poorly, but Ms. Andrews is the exception to this rule. Ella Kate's voice was completely spot on - not only could I hear Ella Kate in my mind, I could identify her with some women I know - and some I'm related to! Andrews does an excellent job of writing a Southern voice without sounding like she's writing what she thinks a Southern voice sounds like.
I love it, I give it 5 stars for fun chick lit, and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys Southern humor or Southern fiction, or a really good chick lit read.