I am a huge Jane Porter fan after having read two of her previous books, Odd Mom Outand Easy On the Eyes. So when I was given the opportunity to review her new book, She’s Gone Country which was just released today (August 23), I jumped at the chance (there may have been squealing and happy dancing involved). This book tells the story of Shey Darcy, 39 year old former top model and mother of three teenage boys.
After her husband announces that he is in love with someone else (a male someone else), Shey moves herself and her boys to her childhood home – a family ranch in Texas. Moving back home is never easy and Shey finds herself dealing with her Southern Baptist mama, over protective brothers, the typical struggles with three teenage boys, one of whom has been battling depression – not to mention the death of her brother, life as an older model and run ins with her ex-crush Dane Kelly.
One thing that I love about Jane Porter’s novels is the fact that things never start or finish in a tidy way. Her stories are very true to life with no perfect happy endings. She jumps in the middle of the action and leaves a few loose ties as well. Some of those loose ties stand to upset readers but I actually like that she leaves things open – and knowing that her characters will likely pop up again in future novels with more details of how things work out is an added bonus. Did I mention that the other novels of Porter’s that I’ve read feature Shey as a character? Shey’s two best friends were the respective main characters in Odd Mom Out and Easy On The Eyes and all three girls appear in all three books, with bits and pieces of their stories told in each – so the story never really ends for any of them.
Another thing that I enjoy with Jane Porter is her very conversational writing style. It’s not always perfect, in fact sometimes I find myself obsessing over her sentence structure, wanting to rewrite bits and pieces – but the overall result is a book that feels like it may have been written by your best friend – it’s not perfect, but it’s so easily digestible – which is good given the often heavy subject matter of death, depression, cyber bullying, family trauma, divorce, heart break and more. Life is messy and Porter’s stories are often a bit messy as well – and a bit heavy. Her writing style makes all of this much easier to digest I think, giving an overall feel of light, dare I say chick-lit – in the midst of some pretty deep subject material.
I definitely recommend She’s Gone Country – it delivers in much the same way as Porters other books – and I think most women (especially moms or fans of chick lit or this new cross breed of mom lit) should enjoy it. I might recommend that you read Odd Mom Out or Easy On the Eyes first but I don’t think it’s necessary.