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!
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.
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.
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