Friday, September 28, 2012

Review: The Good Woman by Jane Porter

The Good Woman by Jane Porter
Berkley Trade
September 2012
Format: Paperback ARC, 368 pages

First line: He was good.

From the back cover: 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 everything changes in one impulsive moment that carries 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 thoughts: This is the first book in Jane Porter's newest series, the Brennan Sisters Trilogy and I loved it. I love stories about strong women and their relationships with their family, especially those with sisters - having two sisters myself, I feel I can relate many times. 

In The Good Woman, we meet Meg Brennan Roberts. She seems to have it all - a solid marriage, three children, a successful career as the PR representative for a winery and the support of a strong Catholic family. But things are not as what they seem because deep down, Meg is questioning her 17 year marriage. She has always been the good girl, the good wife, the good mother and she has a strong sense of loyalty and a need for structure. This story looks at how someone who has been so tightly controlled all of her life finds herself doing something that she knows is wrong and also knows could ruin her life.

This is a bittersweet story because ultimately Meg is presented with two choices with no truly ideal outcome, but by stepping out of her comfort zone she has to both confront issues from her past that have haunted her, and ask herself what she wants out of life. There's a telling scene where her father tells her that she's always been the one to put pressure on herself to be perfect, even as a toddler.

Jane Porter explores the dynamics of the Brennan sisters - all very different, but bonded by sisterhood. We get to know each a little bit and see how their lives all intersect. This gives us a variety of viewpoints on Meg's situation - not an easy task, but one that really helps in keeping the story line feeling real without being preachy. I was totally sucked into this story and had a hard time putting it down. I cannot wait for the next book in the series, The Good Daughter, to come out.

Do you tend to enjoy books more when you can relate to one or more of the characters in the story? 

I received a complimentary copy of The Good Woman by Jane Porter for review.

Books in this series: 
  1. The Good Woman
  2. The Good Daughter
  3. ???


  1. I'm so glad you read it! First time here. Really like your blog.
    I read this book too and really enjoyed it. I found it very difficult to decide which way I wanted Meg to go, but I'm glad it turned out the way it was. Great review!

    1. Thanks for visiting! I was not sure what I wanted Meg to do either - I could see both ways...I think that's what made this so good. It seemed realistic.


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