The Fixer Upper
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The Fixer Upper

3.8 219
by Mary Kay Andrews

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After her boss is caught in a political scandal, fledgling Washington lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father's offer to help turn Birdsong—the fading Victorian mansion he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia—into a real estate cash cow. But Birdsong turns out to be a

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After her boss is caught in a political scandal, fledgling Washington lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father's offer to help turn Birdsong—the fading Victorian mansion he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia—into a real estate cash cow. But Birdsong turns out to be a moldering Pepto-Bismol-pink dump with duct-taped windows, a driveway full of junk, and a grumpy distant relation who's claiming squatter's rights. Stuck in a tiny town where everyone seems to know her business, Dempsey grits her teeth and rolls up her sleeves, and begins her journey back to the last place she ever expected: home.

Editorial Reviews

Daytona Beach News-Journal
“A summer read that’s guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for Southern fiction at its best.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Entirely satisfying, an expert balance of warmth and compassion, terrific supporting characters, a little steamy sex and just enough suspense to keep you from guessing how it will all go down....As ever, Andrews injects a brisk tale with generous doses of her sassy trademark humor.”
“Andrews serves up a tempting and satisfying dish.”
Publishers Weekly

Andrews's latest Southern charmer begins with junior lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew in the crosshairs of a political bribery investigation. Suddenly unemployed and the victim of a sleazy smear campaign by her former boss, Dempsey decides to take up her father's offer of flipping a recently inherited family home in Guthrie, Ga. As it turns out, the house needs much more than a fresh coat of paint, and Dempsey's ornery cousin and her dog are squatting there. So it is that the formerly glamorous Dempsey steps into her dead uncle's overalls and chips her manicured nails as she scrubs and sands her way through fixing up the house, quickly finding a renovation groove, fitting in with the locals and embarking on a romance. Meanwhile, the FBI and a pesky reporter come asking questions about the bribery accusations. This authentic tale of cleaning up life's messes and self-discovery is bright, engaging and thoughtful, enlivened by Andrews's quirky characters and lovely backwoods setting. (July)

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Library Journal
Arriving just in time for summer beach reading is the most entertaining novel yet from Andrews (Deep Dish). Washington, DC, insider Dempsey Jo Killebrew is surprisingly clueless about her lobbyist boss's less than ethical behavior, even after she finds herself unceremoniously fired and licking her wounds in Guthrie, GA. There she reluctantly undertakes a project of restoring a dilapidated house that her father had recently inherited, hoping to sell it for a profit. Not surprisingly, this project is full of problems. The house's elderly resident isn't one bit anxious to move out, but luckily the charming if eccentric townsfolk include a pretty darn handsome local lawyer who comes to Dempsey's defense when it looks as if she might be in just as much trouble as her backstabbing former boss. Add a couple of FBI agents, a meddling mother, and a dog named Shorty, and readers will find themselves eagerly turning pages to find out how the situation resolves itself. VERDICT Fans of Jennifer Crusie or Susan Elizabeth Phillips will find this a delightful addition to the genre of slightly wacky romance stories. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/09.]—Margaret Hanes, Warren P.L., MI

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)


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The Fixer Upper 3.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 219 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
My Review: What a wonderful and intriguing story of a renovation of an old Georgian Mansion called Birdsong and the latest indictment of Dempsey's old boss Alex for allegedly trying to buy his way into an oil company's bill in Washington. Since Dempsey works for Alex as a junior associate lobbyist, she finds herself embattled with this FBI investigation when her boss turns her in to the FBI and claims himself innocent of all charges. He subsequently fires her as a way of making the story stick. Since Dempsey can't really work in Washington right now, her father, Mitch, wants her to head down to Georgia to fix up and flip an old house he has inherited from his grandfather. What Dempsey finds there is truly an overgrown money pit, complete with a live in, old lady who insists the house belongs to her. The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews takes you on quite adventure in not only the art of restoring a home where every penny counts and just when you think there isn't anything more than can go wrong, it does! The characters are so believable that you wonder if Birdsong really doesn't exist. This is a fabulous summer read that takes you away and you can completely lose yourself in another life. I received The Fixer Upper, compliments of TLC Book Tours and would rate this book a 9 out of 10. There are some sexual scenes between Dempsey and her attorney's son, but they are brief and don't distract from the story. For more information on this wonderful book, the author and where to obtain your copy, click on the link below:
jenameyers More than 1 year ago
This is how one of the characters describes a book she is reading and it can be applied here. It is not a condemnation of the book, just an explanation. It was an easy-breezy, fairly predictable read, which I thoroughly enjoyed. If you are looking to expand your horizons or stretch your imagination, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a relaxing read, this book fills the bill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really got into this book! I could not put it down! the characters were very likeable but i do wish there was more about Dempsey and Tee. I loved them as acouple and was very disappointed with the way the story ended. I wish she would of written more about dempsey and Tee and what happens for them in the futre! Overall i liked the story!
ILgirl07 More than 1 year ago
Mary Kay Andrews does not disappoint! Another charming story - I was sad to see it end!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dempsey Killibrew has worked as a lobbyist for a very short time when a political scandal breaks and she finds herself without a job, broke and homeless. Her father comes up with the perfect solution, he has just inherited a house in Gurthrie, Georgia, that the lawyer assures him that with a TLC the house will sell for much more than it's current appraisal. He convinces Dempsey to get out of Washington and head to Georgia to give the house a good cleaning and a little paint and he'd split the profits with her. Well when Dempsey get to the small town and sees the house she knows it a much bigger job than she ever imagined, plus she has inherited a 79 year old "mean old lady" and her dog as part of the deal. She also realizes that small town life is much different from anything she has ever experienced. Everyone knows everything about everybody. She rolls up her sleeves and gets to work trying to return the house to the beautiful home it once was only to have the FBI come calling trying to pin the whole Washington scandal on her. We see a totally new Dempsey emerge as the story continues. The was a very enjoyable story as are all of Mary Kay Andrews sagas. It's the kind of story that even after the last page is read you want to know more, after the crisis is over what happens to all the characters. You become so involved in the story, the family feels so real.
paula-e More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have almost all of this author's! Funny and engaging and thoughtful too. She just doesn't write fast enough--- I am ready for the next book!!!
GeorgiaGalSB More than 1 year ago
Living in the South, I love Mary Kay Andrews' style and her characters are people I can identify with. Her books are always more entertaining than the latest movie and are always my first choice for a trip read. Her Savannah books are my favorite so far. I love these characters and hate for each story to end!
Daphne57 More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Ms Andrews from her first book to this recent publication.While this one wasn't bad I missed the atmosphere background I have come to enjoy. Being a displaced southerner her books were bits of home that were memory provoking and amusingly spot on in detail. I look forward to the next book. Her heroines while very twenty-first century still leave a hint of honeysuckle behind.
HurleyGirl More than 1 year ago
I love the character, Dempsey Jo Killebrew and her family. I was looking for a good read with a "southern flare" and this book was the ticket. The main character, Dempsey loses her job and winds up in a political scandal. Her Dad gives her a chance to escape to a home he inherits called "Birdsong". She arrives to find out that an old lady is living there and does not want Dempsey to be there. They form a bond in the end and Dempsey also finds love... it's a great read. I love Mary Kay Andrews. She is a great author....
maggieLB More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Hats off to Mary Kay Andrews and her phenomenal writing style. This book kept my attention and allowed me to escape into a great read. Andrews captured the dialogue of her characters precisely and each and every character came alive as you read. The main character was so believable as were the supporting characters. Her plot was so believable with real life and I identified with the main character's trials and tribulations. Please read this book and be prepared not to be able to put it down for long. It is that spellbinding. I am anxiously awaiting her next book. Enjoy and be sure to have some southern iced tea, some chicken salad and chocolate in any form and enjoy.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Dish, and now An experienced stage actress and Tony nominee Isabel Keating has given voice to several stories by Mary Kay Andrews - Hissy Fit, Deep The Fixer Upper. For this reader/listener Keating is the Andrews voice, perfectly capturing the sounds of the South. Of her Hissy Fit narration I wrote that it was a fun, thoroughly enjoyable listening experience. I said ditto for Deep Dish, and repeat my approbation here - The Fixer Upper is another winner. Heroine Dempsey Jo Killebrew is more than out on a limb in this story - she's out of a job after her boss, a lobbyist, lets her take the blame for what has turned into a political scandal. What's a girl to do? When her father asks her to come to the old family home in Guthrie, Georgia in order to fix it up she accepts. After all, it will be a roof over her head which she is without at the present time. "Fix it up" is certainly a misnomer as there's more wrong with the house than she imagined, and she continues to find more things amiss than were initially apparent. As if repairs weren't enough there's also an elderly distant relative in residence who refuses to move. She'd be busy enough without government agents who keep dropping by to ask about her former boss, and the distraction presented by a really good looking newspaper owner. As is her wont Andrews laces her tale with plentiful doses of humor, and while we know that all will be better than well in the end that does not detract from the journey. Enjoy! - Gail Cooke
bookloverfl12 4 months ago
What a cute book! My dream would be to leave the big city to live in a small, country town while remodeling a family property. Ironically, listening to this book coincided with my Public Policy Ethics class in my PhD program. There was a lot of head shaking and smirks while listening to this book with respect to the political scandal, which I brought up similar examples for use in my class. As usual, I enjoyed this book!
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I loved everything about this book except the ending. I was involved in Dempsey's new life, and I wanted to know what happens next for her and the other characters. At least give us an epilogue. Please!
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I loved this story
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BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
Mary Kay Andrews comes through with another winner! If you are looking for the perfect after Christmas read! Check out The Fixer Upper! Synopsis: Dempsey and her friends are watching the television at the bar. The news does not look good. She watches her boss Alex Hodder on the screen with Congressman Licata. The headline Law firm brides congressman for vote. After seeing this Dempsey suddenly finds herself without a job and under investigation. Her father comes up with the perfect solution. He would like her to renovate an old house that he inherited Songbird in Guthrie Georgia. There is one little catch it comes with something else. Will Dempsey be able to renovate Songbird? Will the little surprise that comes with the house keep her from moving forward? Will she help the FBI? My Thoughts: Another great read novel by Mary Kay Andrews! I first saw this novel when Mary Kay Andrews was on tour and met Mary Kay for the first time. I listened to this novel and it was narrated very well. The story has great humor and plot. One aspect of Mary Kay Andrew&rsquo;s writing is the setting. The setting for this story is Georgetown and Guthrie Georgia. The only thing I can tell you about where Guthrie is that it is close to Griffin Georgia. For those of you who don&rsquo;t know Georgia area well it is near Macon. She is very descriptive about what you can expect if you happen to visit the area. Let me introduce you to Birdsong the house mentioned in the novel. I am not very handy myself but I found myself wanting to know more about the house&rsquo;s renovation. I also was interested in the other stories within the plot such as Ella Kate, and what would eventually happen to her. The reader will not be disappointed! By Jencey Gortney/Writer's Corner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would expect more from an established author. The characters were completely undeveloped, the plot line anorexic, and the writing abysmal. I would have gotten more enjoyment lighting my $8 on fire and watching it burn. I would have given zero stars if that was an option.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally like her books but this one I didn't really care for.i can't stand the cliff hanger endings in her books. Leaves you with a lot of questions
tcbuzzy More than 1 year ago
Dempsey shows us when we get a hiccup in life that you can always bounce back. It may not be what are where we end up but it's an adventure that makes you take a ride into a new chapter of your life. She shows us that she's charming, tough, snarky, smart, and quit whited. I couldn't choose my favorite character between Ella Kate, the unpleasant squatter or Dempsey's zany mom. They both were very entertaining. Andrew's again makes the character's come alive in her writing. I've enjoyed reading Summer Breeze, Savannah Blues, and Summer Rental. Thank you for sharing "Southern Charm" in your novels. I long to live in the South and reading novels set in the south brings me home every time.