Review: The Good Woman by Jane Porter

November 21, 2012 Berkley Trade 2

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 042525300
  • Source: Publisher

Meg Brennan Roberts is a successful publicist for a local winery. The oldest child in an Irish-American family, she’s always been the level-headed, sensible, and yes, somewhat boring child. One would think that her successful life as a working woman, wife, and mother would make Meg happy, but instead it has the opposite effect. She feels hollow, empty. She spends so much time transporting her children around to ballet, baseball and other extracurricular activities and juggling their schedules that she feels she’s missing out on life. Her husband, Jack, dedicated to his job. Unfortunately, this dedication is so strong that he doesn’t pay attention to Meg, even if she’s standing right before him.

When Meg is asked to go to London for a wine fair with her incredibly handsome and  boss, Chad Hallahan, Meg initially declines. Her family’s busy schedule won’t permit her to be away from them for the several days the trip requires. Instead of confirming this, Jack actually encourages Meg to go. It is in London that Chad pronounces his attraction to Meg. She is shocked, embarrassed, but also flattered. It has been quite some time since someone noticed her, was attracted to her. She loved Jack, but their sex life was less than stellar. He frequently turned down her attempts at love-making, insisting that they are both older now, not as free-spirited and adventurous as they once were. The thing is, their sex life would never be considered adventurous, even when they were younger. Chad’s revelation forces Meg to reevaluate her life, her marriage, and the levelheadedness she’s known for. For once, she banishes her conscious and dives in headfirst, allowing her heart, and her body, to make the decisions for once. The decisions, however, have reckless and irreversible consequences. Meg is forced to decide what is more important: to be the woman everyone wants her to be, or the woman she truly is, deep down inside.

The first book in Porter’s planned series spotlighting the Brennan sisters, Porter focuses not only on Meg’s life, but how her life relates to her loved ones around her.  While I appreciated the dedicated focus on each of the characters, this novel fell short for me. To be honest, I despised Meg’s character. One moment she’s a level-headed wife and mother, the next she’s dropping all obligations and having an affair. Porter attempts to create a realistic main character but instead, in my opinion, she creates a character that symbolizes, in a sense, all the behavior that isn’t realistic. It is possible that I’m living my live wearing rose-tinted glasses, ignorant to many of the experiences and situations Meg is forced to endure, but I doubt it. I can sympathize with her busy life and the occasional feelings of loneliness, but the average person deals with these situations in a completely different manner.

To be honest, I don’t read much chick-lit. Overall, I feel that I cannot form connections with many of the main characters. Honestly, in most cases I want to shake some sense in them, yell at them to grow a backbone. In accepting this book for review, I was attracted to Meg’s large family and its inner-workings. I’m fond of novels with strong family relationships and that aspect of this novel appealed to me. That said, while I didn’t get the anticipated reaction from this novel, I will continue to read the rest of the series. The next book, The Good Daughter, is scheduled for release in February and focuses on Meg’s younger sister, Kit, the one member of her family with which she seems to have the strongest bond and connection.

While I didn’t particularly enjoy this novel, don’t let my opinion alone sway you in reading this book. Looking at other reviews, my opinion of this book seems to be isolated.

2 Responses to “Review: The Good Woman by Jane Porter”

  1. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Aw I really loved this book, but I think it’s pretty hard for any author to successfully create a sympathetic cheating character. I think we can stupid stuff and make big mistakes and that we know better,, but infidelity is a really hard one to forgive.