Rush by Lisa Patton Book Review Really Into This
Books,  Fiction

Rush by Lisa Patton Book Review

Rush by Lisa Patton Book Review Really Into This

Rush by Lisa Patton Book Review

The lowdown from Goodreads

Publication Date August 21, 2018

Set in modern day Oxford, Mississippi, on the Ole Miss campus, bestselling author Lisa Patton’s RUSH is a story about women—from both ends of the social ladder—discovering their voices, courage and empowerment. 

When Lilith Whitmore, the well-heeled House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta, one of the premiere sororities on campus, appoints recent empty-nester Wilda to the Rush Advisory Board, Wilda can hardly believe her luck. What’s more, Lilith suggests their daughters, both incoming freshman, room together. What Wilda doesn’t know is that it’s all part of Lilith’s plan to ensure her own daughter receives an Alpha Delt bid—no matter what.

Cali Watkins possesses all the qualities sororities are looking for in a potential new member. She’s kind and intelligent, makes friends easily, even plans to someday run for governor. But her resume lacks a vital ingredient. Pedigree. Without family money Cali’s chances of sorority membership are already thin, but she has an even bigger problem. If anyone discovers the dark family secrets she’s hiding, she’ll be dropped from Rush in an instant.

For twenty-five years, Miss Pearl—as her “babies” like to call her—has been housekeeper and a second mother to the Alpha Delt girls, even though it reminds her of a painful part of her past she’ll never forget. When an opportunity for promotion arises, it seems a natural fit. But Lilith Whitmore slams her Prada heel down fast, crushing Miss Pearl’s hopes of a better future. When Wilda and the girls find out, they devise a plan destined to change Alpha Delta Beta—and maybe the entire Greek system—forever. 

Achingly poignant, yet laugh-out-loud funny, RUSH takes a sharp nuanced look at a centuries-old tradition while exploring the complex, intimate relationships between mothers and daughters and female friends. Brimming with heart and hope for a better tomorrow, RUSH is an uplifting novel universal to us all.

Rush by Lisa Patton Book Review

Sorority life in the Deep South with a huge helping of generational racism, a myriad of traditions, female friendships & a generous finish of feminism & human rights. That’s a lot for a book, right? Somehow Lisa Patton pulls it off in Rush.

SEC Football Days

First, Lisa Patton NAILS SEC Gameday! I’ve had the chance to venture to many an SEC game, one even featured at Ole Miss Campus aka TSUN. To this, I say, GTHOM & HAIL STATE! Okay, back to the book review!

To say SEC Gameday is an event is the understatement of the century. For many, it truly is a rite of passage that I didn’t recognize until I experienced it firsthand. I love the role college football plays in this book because it rings true for an SEC school. Oxford, Mississippi IS a football town & there’s no getting around it.

Alas, it’s true. Many a young lady paints her face for Gameday despite it being 100 degrees. Of course, you want to wear your school’s colors featured on a fancy dress. Extra points if the dress contains lace or embroidery. Never forget, flatiron the hell out of your hair!

Miss Pearl

Oh, Miss Pearl. I love this lady as much as the sisters of Alpha Delta Beta. Miss Pearl is the housekeeper, confidant, second mother & friend to all. Where would these girls be without her? She keeps a watchful eye, makes emergency trips to the store for them & truly cares about all her “babies”.

Miss Pearl is one of those women you want to meet & are lucky to know. Honestly, Miss Pearl faces a lot in her life, but it doesn’t sour her. Her heart is wide, kind & she is generous as the day is long. Miss Pearl also shares my love for all things Usher Raymond! Readers instantly fall in love with Miss Pearl. Lisa Patton knows this & when Lilith Whitmore enters the story & treats Miss Pearl badly, the narrative becomes all too real.

Read the Author’s Note

Often, I read the author’s notes in books. I find it gives me greater insight into the story & allows me to focus on the writer’s intent. Let me clearly state, read Lisa Patton’s author’s note in the back of this book. She speaks about her inspiration to write Rush after learning of the many hardships facing the individuals who work tirelessly to support the Greek “way of life” on many college campuses.

Generational Racism

Courageously, Rush does face the issue of racism and, more specifically, generational racism head-on. Truthfully, there’s no better place for this than Ole Miss Campus. In case you need a refresher on racism in the South, check out this information about James Meredith. Mr. Meredith is the first black student admitted to Ole Miss & the town blew up. Federal troops descended upon Oxford, riots ensued & 2 people we ultimately killed in the uprising.

The truth is, Ole Miss has roots in racism. There’s the playing of Dixie, Confederate flags waving at games, Colonel Rebel & more. To their credit, the school has tried to alter traditions, change the mascot & discourage Confederate flags. But as Lisa Patton explains further in Rush, traditions in the South don’t go down without a hell of a fight.


I am Really Into This book! I believe Rush is ripe for the picking for a movie or TV series with Reese Witherspoon. The story is beautiful. I cried, laughed, got angry, my heart was broken & healed in one 400 page novel. I expected a fun sorority romp in the Deep South, but was given a gorgeous tale of friendship, love, forgiveness & healing.

If you’re looking for another read to stir up your emotions, check out Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey.

Special thanks to Lisa PattonSt. Martin’s Press & NetGalley for providing my copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Let’s connect with books!  We have all of our reviews on Goodreads!

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Rush by Lisa Patton Book Review Lisa Patton Author Bio
Lisa Patton
After thirteen years at an all-girls school in Memphis and a house full of sisters, Lisa Patton headed for co-ed life at the University of Alabama where she received a BA in Communications. Forever the music lover, Lisa landed her first job at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis as a manager and show promoter before transitioning into promotions at WMC–FM 100, the landmark Memphis radio station. It was there she received Billboard Magazine’s Promotion Director of the Year award.
The birth of her two sons made it difficult to emcee nightly charity auctions and movie premieres so Lisa shifted into TV promotions at the NBC affiliate, WMC-TV Channel 5. Writing radio and TV promotional spots, character voice bits, and news promos made up a large part of both broadcasting positions.
A three-year stint in the restaurant business as an innkeeper in Vermont added diversity to her southern roots and it was there Lisa got the inspiration for her bestselling novel, WHISTLIN’ DIXIE IN A NOR’EASTER. After surviving three sub-zero winters, Lisa’s compass pointed south again and she sped back to Tennessee to de-thaw. A year later she returned to the music industry and was hired by multi-Grammy Award winning recording artist, Michael McDonald. She worked on several albums and video projects including the Grammy nominated, certified Platinum, MOTOWN. Lisa remained in that position until writing became a full-time career.
A breast cancer survivor, Lisa is now the bestselling author of WHISTLIN’ DIXIE IN A NOR’EASTER and YANKEE DOODLE DIXIE. Both novels have been featured on the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Bestseller List and in 2010 Lisa was selected by Target as an Emerging Author. SOUTHERN AS A SECOND LANGUAGE is the third and final book in what Library Journal calls, “The beloved Dixie series.” Lisa’s fourth novel, RUSH, set inside a fictional sorority house at Ole Miss, provides not only a gaze inside the most exclusive sorority Recruitment in the country, but at the relationships between the sisters and the staff. RUSH will be published by St. Martin’s Press in August of 2018.
Currently at work on her fifth book, Lisa is the proud mother of two sons and a little Havanese pooch named Rosie. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Momma, wife, baker, reader & smart ass. I am Really Into doughnuts, inside jokes, trash TV, pizza, 48 Hours & George Michael.


  • jennifertarheelreader

    Fabulous review, Jessica! I attended an ACC school for undergrad (which is truly my beloved, I must say!) and game day was a huge huge huge event for us, but I attended grad school at an SEC school, and yep, you nailed THAT game day experience! I really want to read this book and am bummed I didn’t request it. It sounds like one I would absolutely love. ♥️

    • stslusher

      Thank you so much, Jenni! I actually wrote this one! Jessica edited it for me & it defaulted to her. One of these days we might get this blogging thing down! Game day is so much fun! This book has so much heart & I really enjoyed it!

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