Review: The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-A Love Story by Ree Drummond

February 29, 2012 Autobiography, Cookbooks, Review, Women's Fiction 17

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 006199717X
  • Source: Publisher

Many of us know The Pioneer Woman from her popular blog and cookbooks full of delectable recipes. How many of us, however, know the woman behind this success story? In The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-A Love Story the reader gets a unique glimpse inside the life of Ree Drummond before she becomes the woman we have all grown to love.

After attending four years of college in Los Angeles, Ree returns home to Oklahoma for a visit before moving to Chicago. She’s currently in a relationship with J, yet really isn’t feeling the commitment and affection she longs for.  She agrees to meet some friends at a local bar for drinks. While there, she runs into a deliciously handsome cowboy and they end up talking for hours. After this chance encounter, they don’t speak again for four months. When they do, a spark unites and they begin dating. She refers to him only as The Marlboro man, a cowboy who ranches on the land his family owns. She must chose between the life she had planned in Chicago and this sweet, masculine man who has won over her heart.  A seemingly difficult task, Ree comes to the conclusion pretty easily; the relationship she has with The Marlboro Man is unlike any she had ever experienced.

And I knew, even then: Marlboro Man, not only that night but for months to come, would prove to be my savior, my distraction, my escape in the midst of troubles, my strength in the face of upheaval, my beauty in times of terrible, heartbreaking ugliness. He held my heart entirely in his hands, this cowboy, and for the first time in my life, despite everything I’d ever believed about independence and feminism and emotional autonomy, I knew I’d be utterly incomplete without him.

Ree, a girl used to wearing high heels and dressing to the nines, had a bit of adjustment when it came to her relationship with The Marlboro man. He worked the land, got dirty, woke up at obscene hours of the morning to start his day. In the book, Ree mentions several humorous situations, particularly one involving taking the temperature of cattle as they are being branded. Yet through thick and thin, their relationship perseveres. All sorts of outside distractions, including the divorce of her parents, cause Ree to frequently question her happiness.  She was utterly and completely in love, in the midst of her parents’ 30-year marriage crumbling around her:

I wanted to leave; I wanted out of there so badly…but I was stuck–stuck in a delicious, glorious, beautiful inescapable La Brea tar pit of romance with a rough, rugged, impossibly tender cowboy

And so their life begins, sticking together through thick and thin. Ree must learn to give up a bit of her independence, to lose some of her vanity and pride all in the name of love.

No spoiler here, Marlboro man proposes. Thoughts flash through Ree’s mine, similar I think to other woman about to take the leap into marriage. Her hilarious presumptions of how her life will change hand me in tears:

Marry you?  But then I’d have to cut my hair short. Married women have short hair, and they get it fixed at the beauty shop.

Marry you? But then I’d have to make casseroles?

Marry you? But then I’ll have to wear yellow rubber gloves to do the dishes.

She goes on and on, but is unable to deny the man that she loves so passionately. They marry and move in to a small, centuries-old home on The Marlboro Man’s family land.

Readers that know my personal taste in books might wonder why on Earth I opted to review this book. Blame it on Leap Day; I’m opting to take a leap and step outside the bounds of my comfort zone. I’m not known for my fondness of romances, but how can one resist reading about a good old-fashioned love story? The love Ree and The Marlboro Man share is a unique one, one that I think readers of all varieties will appreciate and enjoy.  That’s not to say they didn’t have their issues and faults but this love they shared outweighed any challenges they faced.  It also doesn’t hurt that I’m obsessed with Ree’s blog and the gorgeous pictures Ree is known to post. Oh, and the recipes!! I’d be remiss not to mention the recipes contained at the back of the book, just a sampling of the mouth-watering food Ree is known to produce.Highly, highly recommended.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour! Foodies would be remiss not to check out Ree’s cookbooks, the newest due out next month (I cannot wait!!)



17 Responses to “Review: The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-A Love Story by Ree Drummond”

  1. Stephanie
    Twitter: Ashbychick

    i definitely want to read this someday. I read a bunch of it when she had it posted on her blog way back before it was published.

    Also – did you notice that you referred to her as “Bree” instead of “Ree” a lot in your post? Just wondered…..

  2. Kara

    I’ve never heard of this book before, but I’m definitely going to check it out. Thanks for reviewing it.

  3. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I’m not much into romances either, but this story of hers is appealing somehow. Of course my cynical side is over here yammering in my ear about the dark side of their relationship that she isn’t telling us about, but happy Sandy hopes that this two people are for real. I’ve told myself for ages I really need to check out her blog and her cookbooks. I may do just that.

  4. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours
    Twitter: age30books

    You’re right, this DOESN’T seem like your normal read, but that just makes your positive review all the more impressive!

    Thanks for taking a “leap” and trying this one out Jenn. 🙂

  5. Nicole Langan
    Twitter: TributeBooks

    I loved this book too and ended up subscribing to Ree’s blog. Her show on the Food Network is great too.

  6. Lisa

    I have been uninterested in this one since she posted a lot of it to her blog before writing the book. Do you think it has a lot of stuff she didn’t already put online?

  7. Beth S.
    Twitter: FoodieBooklvr

    This one’s on my TBR pile right now but haven’t gotten around to reading it. I didn’t really know that much about her until her Food Network show but now I’m obsessed. I love watching her and her family on TV. They just make me happy.

  8. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    You may have convinced me to give this one a shot. I cruise by her blog every once in a while, and the recipe or two I’ve tried have turned out well. I really admire how hard she’s worked to make her mark on the world.

  9. Margot
    Twitter: joyfullyretired

    I read this one too and had the same reaction. Her sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself is what endears her to me as well as all those great pictures and good food.

  10. Libby

    I never knew that about Pioneer Woman! I guess I assumed she had come from a rural background…hmm…I’m going to look for this book! Thanks!

  11. Christine
    Twitter: ChristineA

    I really enjoy Ree’s website and am even a member of the Tasty Kitchen forum, but for some reason I’m that interested in reading this. Kind of surprising since I do like to read romance, but I guess I’ve already read enough about their world on her website. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Ree definitely has a fun, easy going way with telling anecdotes and stories. 🙂

  12. Michelle
    Twitter: whatsheread

    I loved this book and adore Ree. I want to be her bestie. And I cannot wait to start cooking her recipes again. She has a new cookbook coming out, and it is at the top of my wish list. I am so glad you were able to enjoy it!!