Updated: Aug 21, 2018
A thought-provoking story of fairness, empowerment and forgiveness.
It’s the run up to Rush week at Ole Miss in Oxford Mississippi. This is the story about women from all rungs on the social ladder, discovering their voices, courage and empowerment.
For 25 years, Pearl has been housekeeper and a second mother to the Alpha Delta girls. She listens to their stories, holds their hands when they are sick, and celebrates with them when they get good news. When an opportunity for promotion arises, it seems like a natural fit. But alum Lilith Whitmore puts her foot down fast, crushing Pearl’s hopes of a better future. When the Alpha Delta girls find out, they devise a plan destined to change Alpha Delta and maybe the entire Greek system, forever.
Cali Watkins possesses all the qualities sororities are looking for in a new potential member. She’s kind, intelligent, makes friends easily, and even plans to run for governor someday. Without family money and connections Cali’s chances of sorority membership are thin, but she has an even bigger problem. If anyone discovers the dark family secret she’s hiding she’ll be immediately dropped from consideration.
When Wilda Woodcock gets a call from old friend and Alpha Delta sorority alum Lilith Whitmore, appointing her to the Rush Advisory Board, she can hardly believe her luck. Wilda will now be able to keep an eye on her daughter, Ellie, while she is away at school. What’s more Lilith suggests that her daughter Annie Laurie and Ellie, both incoming freshmen room together. This decision will prove costly to Wilda, in more ways than one.
RUSH takes a thought-provoking look at the issues of fairness, diversity, empowerment and forgiveness. My favorite part of the book is how it is the newest members of the sorority who are the ones to step up and make a difference. I also loved Pearl’s attitude of not backing down and fighting for what she wants in a professional way.
The writing is clear and succinct and despite having multiple points of view is very easy to follow. The characters were as dramatic and diverse as you would find in any sorority house. I particular loved the strength and outward thinking that Cali and Ellie exhibited. It’s a well-written story emanating from a Southern perspective, and while it may not appeal to everyone, I found it thoughtful and moving. The book was engaging: I laughed at parts, shook my head at parts and even had tears streaming down my face at parts. Anyone who has belonged to a sorority should definitely read this compassionate, compelling and enlightening book.
From LISA PATTON’s personal note at the end of the book, you easily discern that this book was written from the heart despite many impediments put in her way. It is well beyond frustrating that these issues as real today as they were thirty and forty years ago, not just in the South and not just in sorority houses, but in small businesses everywhere. By writing this book it is apparent that Patton hopes to facilitate change. I hope that it will do just that. It’s time that young women like Cali and Ellie, our future leaders empower themselves; and find their courage and their voice to make things happen.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher St. Martin’s Press
Published August 21, 2018