Book Review: Rush by Lisa Patton

A long time ago when I first graduated from college, I worked for a small magazine. It was an exhausting job where I had way too much responsibility and very little help. But one of my favorite parts of the job was that I got to read books, write reviews and sometimes interview the author. This is how I first found out about author Lisa Patton, who is from Memphis (which is where I am from and live 20 minutes from). I read her first book Whistling Dixie in a Nor’eastern and loved it. So I was really excited when my mom told me she had a new book coming out called Rush.


Rush is about what you might expect – sorority rush and it is set at Ole Miss. It is told from three different perspectives. Miss Pearl is the beloved housekeeper at one of the sororities, Alpha Delta Beta. She has worked there for 25 years and considers the girls to be like her own children. The girls come to her when they need advice or someone to talk to, and the parents look to Miss Pearl to take care of their babies when they aren’t there. Cali is a freshman who is hoping to rush. She grew up in a tiny Mississippi town and was raised by her grandparents. She desperately wants to join a sorority, even though she lacks “pedigree” and only has recommendations for a few houses. And if her secret is discovered, she certainly will be dropped from all of the houses. Wilda is the mother of another freshman and a former member of Alpha Delta Beta. She is recruited to join the rush advisory board by Lilith Whitmore, another former member and Wilda’s daughter’s roommate. At first Wilda is excited, but when she realized things that are really going on and what Lilith and her daughter are really like, she regrets getting involved at all.

I really loved the completely different perspectives of the points of view. They really are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but I think it is what makes this book really work and allow the reader to connect better.

Now I enjoyed this book, especially the last third of it. But I am going to be completely honest – I was not in a sorority and therefore a lot of the over the top-ness that goes on about rush in the South just didn’t connect with me. But that isn’t the book, that is me. For a lot of Southern women, being in a sorority is super important. In fact, it is everything. But that just isn’t me.  But I promise there is a lot more to the story than just that. I do know, however, that the over the top, crazy stuff that goes on (think “dorm room designers” that cost thousands and thousands of dollars) are 100% real.

So I definitely think if you live in / are from / went to school in the South and / or you were in a sorority, it is worth the read. It might not resonate quite as much if you don’t fall into any of these categories, however I did really enjoy it and think it is absolutely worth the read.

Have you read Rush? Were you in a sorority in college?

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