Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Novels With Nell - Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter

I am pretty ecstatic about today's post because it's a new series right here on Prep In Your Step! Every other week there will be a new book review written by one of my favorite people! Nell is constantly giving me recommendations of books to read and while I wish I had the time to take her suggestions (at this point it is becoming peer pressure) I figured that maybe y'all would be able to take her suggestions! Nell and I have been friends since right before freshman year of college when we were roommates and are rounding out our Furman experience as roommates again this year! She also does a lot of the behind the scenes work for Prep In Your Step with me such as taking photos, accompanying me on events, and serving as an editor of sorts! With all of that I am so excited to have her create posts for y'all on occasion since I trust her judgement and know y'all will love to hear what she has to say!

So without further adieu, here is Nell's inaugural post:

I was so excited when Dorothy asked me to start doing this book recommendation series with y’all! Why did she ask me, you may wonder? Probably because I love to read and often say to her, “you should read X,” whereas she answers, “I don’t have time to read.” (Boo. Though you can see she’s starting to make time so… Yay). I’m not an English major or have any sort of formal book expertise aside from experience. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved to read- Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, (clearly I love a good series), Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Charlotte’s Web, all that good stuff. You name it, I probably read it. Caddie Woodlawn, anyone? (I could probably do a whole series just talking about children’s books I loved).

My mom took me to the library at least once a week growing up, where I could pick out the same number of books as the age I was at the time. It was a big time to go from 3 to 4 years old and be able to pick out just one more book at each trip. When I got into chapter books that kind of fell by the wayside but my love of reading stayed strong. Dorothy thinks it’s funny that I still go to the public library at home. I’m one of a small crowd of younger patrons who fall between the moms bringing their school-age children and the retirees. I don’t want to buy a book I know I’ll only read once, and bookshelf space at home is finite. The two bookshelves in my room go floor to ceiling and are already full to the brim. The library lets you read a book for free; what’s not to love? *stepping off my “support your local library soapbox* Anywho, let’s just jump right into it!

This first book is one I’ve been trying to get Dorothy to read for a while now, so I’m hoping one of y’all will read it and validate my recommendation. I found this book in a local bookstore in a small town in Alabama back in high school. It’s a story about Memphis born and bred Southern belle, Leelee Satterfield. When her handsome and charming husband, Baker, shares his dream to move the family (2 daughters and a dog) up to Vermont to run an inn, Leelee is definitely not thrilled with the idea of leaving her beloved Memphis, but agrees to the move in order to be supportive of her (even more) beloved husband. As one can imagine, Leelee is like a fish-out-of-water. The crowd is Vermont is not of the “ladies who lunch,” sweet-tea-drinking, debutante society variety from back home that she’s used to. She’s disappointed by the unfashionable choices when it comes to snow boots and misses the southern warmth and hospitality she was so used to.

Through a series of unexpected events, Leelee has to shed the Daddy’s girl persona she’s had her whole life, pull herself up by her bootstraps, and find her own strength, doing it all the while with Southern grace and charm. This read is funny, light, and leaves you with a good feeling by the end. Definitely a happy read! It also has two sequels, making it a trilogy, I suppose: Yankee Doodle Dixie and Southern as a Second Language, so you can see where Leelee goes next. It’s a charming and fun series that I loved! My mom and aunt took my recommendation on all three books and loved them too. As this series goes on, you’ll see that Southern fiction is one of my go-to genres, and if that’s you, then this would be a great fit. If you’ve read these books, let me know what you thought, or I’d love to hear y’all’s recommendations below!

Me (Dorothy) again! I've been trying to think of a fun name for this series so if you think of something cute or punny I want to know so definitely leave it below!


  1. I love this new series.

  2. I didn't have time to read for pleasure until this past year so I understand the struggle! I will say that I wish I had made time for it while in school though.

  3. Novels with Nell? Sounds like a fun series!

  4. As a southern girl myself, this book sounds right up my alley! I'm going to have to add it to my Amazon wishlist :) I'm so glad you're doing this new series & I look forward to more of these posts in the future :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style


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