Lisa Patton Comes to Charleston in Support of New Novel 'Rush'

Read the new novel, Rush, by southerner Lisa Patton before she stops in Charleston to talk about her book.

I attended a large SEC school with a strong Greek-life, but it wasn’t like Ole Miss. I’m a Tennessee Volunteer (I know, an unpopular opinion in South Carolina) and “rushed” Sigma Kappa as a collegiate. By my time, we were calling it sorority recruitment.

As one of the characters from Lisa Patton’s new book Rush points out, things have changed.

On the surface, Rush is about a group of women all connected to the fictional sorority house Alpha Delta Beta. But, it’s about more than that. It’s a multi-generational story about motherhood, sisterhood, and friendship. More than that, it’s about doing the right thing when faced with peer pressure.

The novel opens with Miss Pearl preparing the Alpha Delt sorority house for the new school year. It then follows Wilda Woodcock as she drops off her only daughter, Ellie, at college and navigates sorority life as an advisor. And, finally, it introduces Cali, a collegiate woman with no Greek-life “pedigree.”

Each woman is given her own voice and point of view within the story. The story is chronological, but the story moves with each character given a chapter or group of chapters. Then, it will seamlessly switch to another character.

These characters are all delightful. But, a story wouldn’t be complete without adversity, and in this novel, it comes in the form of Lilith Whitmore.

Lilith is the newly appointed head of the Alpha Delt’s House Corp Board and the mother of Annie Laurie, Elli’s new roommate. Lilith and Wilda were also sorority sisters and members of Alpha Delt.

Lilith is the ultimate manipulator and will go to any lengths to get what she wants.

As a Tennessee fan, I had a hard time cheering for a group of Ole Miss Rebels – especially when Wilda and Ellie reside in Memphis! But, they’re fans through and through and nothing proves this more than when Ellie schemes to hold a fundraiser for a dinner date with Eli Manning and his wife, Abby.

Now, if they were selling raffle tickets for an evening out with Eli’s brother, Peyton, I would drop $25 for a ticket in a heartbeat!

Rush is one of those unique stories that everyone can enjoy even if you didn’t join a sorority or attend a big SEC college. The characters are relatable because of their, well, character. In the end, this novel isn’t about joining the right sorority, or any sorority at all. It is about treating others with kindness and seeing past socio-economic status, race, and pedigree.

Lisa Patton will be at Buxton Books on September 17 from 5:30-7 p.m. along with author Kristin McMorris (Sold on a Monday) and will be at the Charleston Library Society on September 18 from 6-7 p.m.

Rush is available now at local retailers and online.