Patton signing new book, ‘Rush’ in reception at Gallery Thursday

Published 12:59 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Author Lisa Patton is having a book signing at the Lower Alabama Art Coalition Thursday, and she believes that her book, “Rush,” will resonate with the Covington County community.

Wide-ranging age, economic, and social differences among the three characters who tell the story of Rush create tremendous tension as many in a class of freshman girls hope to become sorority sisters on the University of Mississippi campus. Miss Pearl, the dearly loved African American housekeeper at the Alpha Delta Beta House, yearns to become the housemother to earn more income and return to college herself, but faces a roadblock from bigoted Alpha Delta Beta House Corp President Lilith Whitmore. Cali Watkins, a freshman without the pedigreed background of the typical sorority recruit, faces condescension from supercilious girls. And Wilda Woodcock, an Alpha Delta alumnae lacking in self-confidence, succumbs to the dominating and arrogant Lilith Whitmore’s influence.

“I believe that a lot of the themes in this book will resonate with the Covington County community,” Patton said. “Hope, inclusion, racial inclusion, love and acceptance are a few things that are in the book that I think people will find.”

Patton hopes to take readers to a new, but familiar world, when they read her new book.

“I have a lot of friends and know a lot of women in Andalusia,” Patton said. “I hope to take the readers somewhere new, or take them for a walk down memory lane.”

Patton used her own experience being in a sorority as inspiration for her fourth novel. She was a Kappa Delta at the University of Alabama.

“I was thinking about what to write for my next novel and I happened to be visiting my sorority house because they were having a ribbon cutting for their new house,” Patton said. “When I walked into the house, I could feel a story brewing, and then when I met their housekeeper I knew that I had a story.”

Born and reared in Memphis, Tenn., Patton said that she sticks to her Southern roots with her novels because the south is known for its story telling.

“I moved away from the south for three years,” Patton said. “And that experience turned into a writing career. The south is such a fertile ground for storytelling. Most Southerners love to tell stories even throughout everyday conversation so I knew I had to keep to my roots.”

Patton said that even though her book is about sorority life, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is only exclusive to people in sororities.

“You don’t have to be in a sorority to like this book,” Patton said. “There is plenty of conflict, and it is about young women discovering their voice.”

Patton started writing “Rush” in 2015, and turned in her first draft in April of 2017.

She will sign books from 5:30 until 7 p.m. Thursday, October 4, at LAAC’s The Gallery. The event is also a reception for artist Janet Hinton, whose work appears at The Gallery in October.