As a BookSpark Groupie, we are able to participate in The Good Woman Blog Tour. This first book in the Brennan Sisters series is Jane Porter's newest title. Our review is below. Thanks for stopping by and spending time with us.
The Good Woman (Brennan Sisters, Book #1) by Jane Porter
Women's contemporary fiction*Paperback & e-bbok, 368 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Berkley Trade
Is it possible to leave it all behind?
The firstborn of a large Irish-American family, Meg Brennan Roberts is a successful publicist, faithful wife, and doting mother who prides herself on always making the right decisions. But years of being “the good woman” have taken a toll and though her winery career thrives, Meg feels burned out and empty, and more disconnected than ever from her increasingly distant husband. Lonely and disheartened, she attends the London Wine Fair with her boss, ruggedly handsome vintner, Chad Hallahan. It’s here, alone together in an exotic city, far from “real” life, that Chad confesses his long-standing desire for Meg.
Overwhelmed, flattered, and desperately confused, Meg returns home, only to suddenly question every choice she’s ever made, especially that of her marriage. For Meg, something’s got to give, and for once in her life she flees her responsibilities—but with consequences as reckless and irreversible as they are liberating. Now she must decide whether being the person everyone needs is worth losing the woman she was meant to be.
About the author:
Jane Porter, the bestselling author of 30 novels, including six for Grand Central Publishing, has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award from Romance Writers of America in 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2010. Jane’s July ’06 release, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a December ’08 Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear. Jane’s newest release, She’s Gone Country, will be out this August 2010. A busy mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in Bellevue, Washington where she’s working on her next novel.
Porter’s newest women’s fiction title, THE GOOD WOMAN (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; September 4, 2012; $15), marks her debut at Berkley and introduces a new trilogy about the Brennan sisters. The Brennan family grapples with very real issues and Porter doesn’t shy away from addressing the both the faults and strengths of her characters. Each book will focus on one sister, and she explores each with a sense of realism and sympathy, allowing readers the opportunity to understand—and often empathize—with the characters’ motivations.
From the striking simplicity of the cover of this book, I knew I would like The Good Woman and I did. Jane Porter seems to effortlessly catch everyday life--from the minutest details of family/married/work to its' cadence of language and behavior --and imbue all of it in her novel. On the surface, Meg Brennan Roberts has it all: she's a valuable asset to the owners of the winery where she is employed as a publicist. Married to her husband, Jack, for seventeen years, they have three kids with very busy schedules. And as the oldest of the Brennan girls, Meg is big sis to Kit and Sarah, both of whom are going through issues of their own. Meg's mom faces a health crisis and her dad, a stout and devoted father, keeps their Catholic family rooted in faith and values. Meg may act like everything is fine but as she goes through her everyday routines of work, kids, time with Jack, she's not fine. She's unhappy and searching for something more. Something she's not receiving from Jack.
At 47, many women experience what Meg does. I'm not sure many would act on their impulses or fantasies and actually take the step to damage her marriage and, ultimately, herself. As much as I understood and sympathized with Meg as she grappled with her attraction to her good looking boss, Chad, I had a problem with her reasons for sleeping with him, especially when she knew how Jack felt about his own parents' divorce. I did disagree with Meg's decision but it never stopped me from reading. The story was so well-written, the characters beautifully realistic and flawed, the dialogue was like a movie script, The Good Woman captured my attention and drew me in so far I felt I ad become a member of the Brennan clan.
Watching Meg handle herself before and after her fall from grace, and attempt to put back some semblance of normality in her shattered life was gripping. The scenes with her parents, her sisters, and Jack and their kids made me root for Meg to find happiness in her life again. Poignant, touching, and incredibly realistic, this first book of the Brennan Sisters Trilogy could be the story of our neighbors, our friends, or even our own lives. I am so looking forward to the second book, The Good Daughter, next spring.
"Meg couldn't sleep.
She lay on her back, seething. Feeling as if she were suffocating. The night was warm, the comforter too heavy. Jack's snoring was making her crazy. Angry.
Turning on her side, Meg pulled the sheet up to her chest and stared out the open window at the moon.
She felt so empty. Empty and numb.
Sex with Jack was terrible. Sex with Chad was unbelievable But Chad wasn't her husband. Jack was. And her husband seemed completely oblivious that she might need anything, never mind an orgasm. Somehow sex had evolved into being about his release, not hers.
But that didn't make sleeping with Chad okay. It wasn't okay. There was nothing okay about having an affair. She didn't want to be doing this. Didn't like doing this. Didn't like the person she'd become.
A liar. A deceiver. A cheat.
Pressure filled her chest, bearing down, making it hard to breathe. She wanted--needed--her old life back. The uncomplicated life. The one where Meg had been good and true. The one where Meg had been herself."
Cover comment: I love the way the model is captured looking down as if in deep contemplation.
Book source: I received a paperback from BookSparks PR in return for my honest review during a book tour.
We are giving away our paperback copy of The Good Woman to one reader. Our giveaway is open to residents of the US.