'The Good Woman'
Author: Jane Porter
Published: Berkley Trade; Sept. 2012
Genre: Chick lit (also described as modern lit)
Source: BookSparks PR
Synopsis: 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.
My Take: Last year I read and devoured She's Gone Country by Jane Porter (click title for my review), claiming it as one of my favorite books of the year. So when she had a new trilogy, centered around the Brennan Sisters, I was excited to read the first in this series.
The Good Woman centers around the oldest daughter of the Brennan Sisters, Meg. They all grew up in an Irish Catholic family in San Francisco (go SF!!) and Meg always felt a sense of responsibility for everyone. Now as a forty year old woman with a husband, three kids, and a great career, her sense of responsibility hasn't gone away, it's only grown stronger.
While Meg is certainly the center of this novel, she isn't the only person we learn about, which helps give the book some great depth. We learn about the other fours sisters which are all a little different, some heart warmingly so, some annoyingly so. She also has a brother Tommy Jr. and her parents Tommy Sr. and Marylyn. Every single one of these family members is dealing with a drama of their own but it is Meg's family drama that the story circles around.
Meg is feeling restless in her life. She has been married for seventeen years and has been feeling, for quite some time, unwanted and unloved by her husband. For me, what I found annoying in Meg, was that, while she calls her husband Jack her best friend, she refuses to ever have an adult conversation with him about the state of their marriage, however uncomfortable it may be. Instead she decides to go on a path of destruction. I know not everyone would agree with me, but I find that novels are more enjoyable if I can relate to the main characters in some capacity and instead of being able to relate to Meg, I found her incredibly infuriating and selfish. I am not judging her for what she did, just for what she didn't do beforehand. That should make sense to anyone who has read the book but I didn't want to give to much away!
Bottom line, I think for any all female book club, this would probably be a great choice to read because it brings up a lot of real emotions and therefore would spark a great discussion.
Cover Lust: While it's not the most compelling cover to me, it does look like how they described Meg so I can totally appreciate it.