Kit Brennan has always been a good girl, the good daughter, as far as her family is concerned. She’s teacher at a Catholic school, attends Mass every weekend, and wants to go the traditional route as far as marriage and having children are concerned. Yet as her 40th birthday nears, Kit wonders if taking the route preferred by her family is the best one. She both a man her parents would approve of (on the surface anyway) as well as a man she knows they would shun. An even more difficult question: Should she wait for the perfect man to enter her life in order to start a family, or does she have what it takes to have one, through adoption, on her own? As her mother deteriorates further due to cancer, Kit soon realizes that sometimes life is meant to be lived in the moment, that an individual truly can’t be happy if they are continuously trying to please others rather than themselves.
The Good Daughter is the second book in the Brennan sisters trilogy. Once again, Porter continues to create a truly rewarding and insightful read. She tackles a number of pretty tough subjects so eloquently and respectfully, packing quite a punch. Readers are given a bigger opportunity to embrace and love each of the Brennan sisters, a truly remarkable set of siblings. Upon wrapping up title, much like her other books, the characters resonate, often taking on stronger roles in my life than I thought imaginable. As I closed each of the Brennan sisters books, I felt as though I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. Yet knowing that a reunion is in future with another Brennan sisters book I’m left feeling hopeful, looking forward to the next saga in this family’s story. Highly recommended.
White House executive chef Olivia Paras grew up believing her father was a hero, yet during a recent visit to her mother she learns otherwise. Not only was he dishonorably discharged from the army, after his murder evidence was found, implicating him for selling corporate secrets. How had a man, buried in Arlington National Cemetery, be guilty of such charges? Ollie refuses to believe this claims and, with the aid of her Secret Service boyfriend, Gav, she must get to the root of what really transpired decades earlier. They locate a number of her father’s former acquaintances in an effort to find out more.Doing so, however, puts her life and the nation’s security at risk.
In the sixth book in the White House Chef mystery series, I truly appreciated how much of this novel revolved around Ollie’s search for the answers to her endless questions about her father. Fans of this series know how often Ollie gets wrapped up in danger of some sorts but in this novel, readers get to see Ollie up close and personal, quite vulnerable and desperate for answers. That’s not to say the crazy antics of the White House, the First Family and Ollie’s quirky cohorts aren’t portrayed at all, but in this case they serve as more of a backdrop than the main story. In actuality, in Fonduing Fathers readers actually get to see the First Family portrayed as typical people, the First Son, Josh, attempting to remain as normal as he can, pursuing his own passion in becoming a chef.
While I enjoyed every book in this series (my favorite cozy series!) this may be my favorite because readers get to see inside Ollie’s life, even if it does reveal dangerous secrets that should remain hidden. As mentioned above, this is the sixth book in the series. In many cases, I would suggest that readers new to the series pick up at any point but in this case I believe it is paramount to start at the beginning and watch Ollie’s evolution as an individual and as the White House executive chef. Highly, highly recommended.
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
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.