Tag Archives: Jane Porter

Running On Empty

She’s Gone Country: A Novel by Jane Porter (5 Spot; $13.99; 384 pages)

Coping with imposed life changes is the main theme for Jane Porter’s new novel, She’s Gone Country.   The central character, Shey Darcy, is an almost-forty-year-old former fashion model whose image appeared in Vogue and in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.   Shey’s glamorous life in New York City is cut short when her husband declares that he’s gay and wants a divorce.  

What follows is a sprint back to Shey’s roots in Texas.   She takes her two sons to live in her mom’s house on a sprawling family-owned ranch in a bid to feel more secure.   This is a tale of growing up to reality and grasping a sense of how to navigate life when the veneer of New York life’s distractions is peeling away.

Author Jane Porter presents the story in a stream of consciousness first person narrative in the present tense.   Shey is stuck in her feelings about the life she has been forced to leave behind.   She dwells on her husband’s betrayal, the trials of motherhood and her very shaky self-image.   Shey’s monologue is often repetitive, and it is a perfect example of self-talk by the mind vs. being in the now, as detailed in Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.   Shey loses her way, her sense of now and she’s stuck trying to cope with her brain chatter.

An odd combination of contrasts crop up throughout the story.   Men are generally described as hunky or highly attractive, and comfortable with old cars and the peeling paint on the Texas ranch house where Shey lives.   Women are depicted less charitably.   Porter describes their actions and fashion choices in a way that is just shy of brutal.

The notion of raising boys is foreign to this reviewer, but Jane Porter is the mother of three boys.   She makes it seem like a lot more work than having girls.   Even though the story is told in the first person, the feelings and actions of the other characters are well-developed.   This is especially true for Shey’s two sons.   Each has his own personality and needs as together they struggle with having been uprooted from post private school city life and plopped down onto a small country setting.

Since this book is clearly of the chic lit genre, it was amazing to this reviewer that the most sympathy and tears were brought out by someone other than the main character – who knew?

This is a most enjoyable read for women of a certain age.   Recommended.

This review was written by Ruta Arellano.   A review copy was provided by Hachette Book Group U.S.A.   She’s Gone Country was released by 5 Spot on August 23, 2010.

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She’s Gone Country

Jane Porter is the author of several successful popular fiction books including Easy on the Eyes, Flirting with Forty, Mrs. Perfect and Odd Man Out.   Her next book, She’s Gone Country, will be released on August 23, 2010.   Thanks to the folks at five spot and Hachette Book Group, we’re giving you a sneak peek right now.   The following is an excerpt from Chapter One.

Brick calls me on his cell about an hour later.   “That was the most boring sermon ever, Shey.   You owe me.”

I grin at the misery in his deep voice.   He might be the oldest and I might be the youngest but we’ve always been tight.   “You don’t have to pretend to like church just because she’s here,” I answer, taking a step outside the house to stretch and stand on the screened porch with its view of the oak lined drive.   More oak trees dot the pasture between the house and the six stall barn.   There’s not a lot else to see but trees, cows, and land.   Mama and Pop lived here for fifty-some years, and Pop’s parents before that.

“If it makes her happy,” he says.

“That’s why you’ll go to heaven and I won’t,” I laugh and ruffle my hair.   I’ve always gotten along well with all my brothers, but I enjoy teasing Brick the most, probably because he takes his job as the oldest so damn seriously.   “You all on your way home now?”

“No.   We’re going for breakfast.   Mama’s still worked up, and Charlotte thought a good hot meal would put her in a better mood, especially when she’s driving back to Jefferson this afternoon.   Don’t want her on the road when she’s in a mood.”

“No, we certainly don’t.   So where are you going, and are we invited?”

“Um, Shey, you’re the reason Mama’s in a bad mood.   You’re probably better off staying at the house.”

“Gotcha.”   My lips twist in a rueful smile.   My mother and I have a funny relationship.   Given that I’m the only daughter and the baby of the family, you’d think we would have been close.   Only it didn’t work out that way.   Mama prefers boys.   But I can’t complain.   I certainly wasn’t neglected growing up.   I had three brothers to chase after and always was the apple of my Daddy’s eye.   “We’ll see you later, then, and don’t rush your meal.   We’ll be here when you return.”

(Used by permission.)

 

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Who’ll Start the Rain?

San Diego’s two-year drought serves as a metaphor for the life of the main character, Andy Dunne.   Author Shawn Klomparens is a master at dialogue.   He is able to delve into suppressed feelings and expectations through the exchanges between the characters that populate Andy’s world.   An underlying theme of betrayal and loss is also woven throughout the fast-paced story.

There are many types of love, friendship and respect that Andy demonstrates in his interactions with his sister Leigh Anne, niece Hannah, best friend Rich and most of all with Hillary Hsing, his two-year (married) infatuation.   The story takes place in the context of satellite radio weathercasts and a children’s TV show complete with a magic flying carpet.two years 5 (sharp)The book is nearly the male counterpart of Easy on the Eyes, the story of a TV news magazine host who is urged to undergo plastic surgery to keep her career alive.   Redundancy and the economy rather than aging beauty provide the impetus that launches our hero on his quest to become New Andy, as Hillary calls him, or finally Real Andy, as he describes himself.

This book is ideal as a vacation read with equal parts of humor and soul-searching.

Delta, $15.00, 370 pages

Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.

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In Your Eyes

Although glamour and high visibility go along with being a prime time TV show host, behind the scenes Tiana Tomlinson must come to terms with how the industry treats aging women versus their maturing male counterparts.   Author Jane Porter goes to great lengths to portray the depth of despair, frustration and stagnation associated with her heroine’s circumstances.

We go with Tiana all the way to Africa and back to Los Angeles on a quest for the authentic approach to her TV show’s content.   Moral dilemmas and making choices are pivotal in this book.   The price of walking in her shoes is well worth the payoffs celebrated once the reader gets into the heart of the tale.easy on the eyes 4Make no mistake, this is a story of romance, but not a romance novel.   A significant part of the romance that blossoms in Tiana’s heart comes from falling in love with her true self.   There are plenty of obstacles along the journey and the reader is eventually well rewarded for embracing this character.

Well worth the time and effort!

5-Spot, $13.99, 335 pages

Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.

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