Monday, August 23, 2010
Book Review: "She's Gone Country" by Jane Porter and Book Giveaway
Shey Darcy, a 39-year-old former top model for Vogue and Sports Illustrated led a charmed life in New York City with a handsome photographer husband until the day he announced he'd fallen in love with someone else. Left to pick up the pieces of her once happy world, Shey decides to move back home to Texas with her three teenage sons. Life on the family ranch, however, brings with it a whole new host of dramas starting with differences of opinion with her staunch Southern Baptist mother, her rugged but overprotective brothers, and daily battles with her three sons who are also struggling to find themselves. Add to the mix Shey's ex-crush, Dane Kelly, a national bullriding champ and she's got her hands full. It doesn't take long before Shey realizes that in order to reinvent herself, she must let go of an uncertain future and a broken past, to find happiness--and maybe love--in the present.
I'm a really big fan of Jane Porter's chick lit books. She writes in a style that is fun to read but also brings up serious topics that make you think. I've really enjoyed her past books. Even though they are bit lengthier than your normal chick lit read, I've been able to devour them in one sitting. This book gives the reader the story of Shey, friend to Marta and Tia from previous books. Shey is living in Texas after leaving her husband and is starting a new life back in her hometown with her three boys.
I felt immensely sorry for Shey and how her marriage turned out. It's one thing to find out that your husband has left you and then it's a completely different thing when you find out he left you for another man. This must have been a huge blow to her, not just for their marriage but also because as a model, Shey is highly desirable in every other man's eyes except her own husband. It's enough to make anyone have low self esteem and become depressed. Luckily she's able to pull herself out of it and learn to liver her life again. The characters in the book are very colorful. I found her brothers and their wives to be very interesting. In fact, I hope there is a book that focuses on her sister in law Emily, because I feel that there is a story there, waiting to be told. I loved the photo shoot Shey had with her brother, where they had to pretend to be a couple in love and they're holding hands, while whispering, "This is SO uncomfortable!"
Her relationship with Dane is quite interesting since the two have a history. While rekindling their romance, they discover things about themselves they've been keeping from each other all these years. Dane's back story is touching and sad and it explains his reluctance to open up to Shey again. Still he's a good guy overall in contrast to Shey's ex husband who is pretty much self centered. While he does love his sons, I was not a fan of how he treated Shey both now and in the past.
What I found a bit interesting about this book is the fact that it is set in Texas. Normally this wouldn't stand out to me, but this summer I interned with two other students who were both from different parts of Texas. Therefore the ENTIRE summer, I heard nothing but the great things about Texas and how they couldn't wait to get back there. So it was a hilarious that the first book that I picked up after my internship was over took place in Texas! And it's funny because the characters in the book felt the same way that my friends did. Shey had been denying herself all these years about how much she had missed her hometown and finally came to realize that this was where she needed to be.
Out of all of Jane's chick lit/contemporary fiction, this seemed the least chick lit-ish at least to me. This is not really a problem except there were some scenes that seemed a bit more romance novel than normal. The only tiny qualm I had was with the presentation of Shey's mother. Her mom is portrayed a typical Southern woman who HAS to be in church every Sunday and keeps trying to force Shey to go and blames the fact that she doesn't on the state of her marriage, children and overall life. This just annoyed me because her mom made it seem as if suddenly going to church to was going to change Shey's life but in reality that's not going to happen if Shey doesn't WANT to change her life.
If you have been a fan of her other books, there are cameos from previous characters so it's nice to see how they've fared in their lives and what they are up to. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a great read and makes one long to come home again.
She's Gone Country by Jane Porter is published by 5 Spot (2010)
This ARC was provided by the publisher
I'm able to give away five copies of this book provided by the publisher. To enter, you must fill out the form and have a US or Canada mailing address (no PO Boxes). Winners will be picked Monday, August 30.
PLEASE use the form only to enter the contest. For any comments about the book, review, etc. please use the comments link at the bottom of the post. All information must be filled out correctly or else your entry will not count. (ie. you must use FULL name and list your mailing address). Your info will only be used for this contest and will be deleted after the contest is over.