April 28, 2013

The Good Woman. Jane Porter. TBR challenge

                                                       The Good Woman                                                                                  
Jane Porter.
Published Kindle September 2012.
368 Pages

Summary from Goodreads.
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.

This is a very down to earth real book.  We not only meet Meg and her family but her parents and sisters.  Her sisters will be the later main characters of the next books.  They have grown up in a good Catholic family, and have some of that inevitable Catholic shame and guilt in their make up.  There is love and support as well and forgiveness in some measure.

Meg is the eldest and as such was shouldered with a lot of responsibility as a child. There is a significant event in her life that alters her relationship with one sister and causes Meg to forever feel guilty and not good enough.  She does not accept help easily, and soldiers on with somewhat of a martyr complex thrown in. Can be pretty typical for the eldest in families.

In her forties she is in crisis.  She is a capable woman but an unhappy woman.  She has an excellent job that she is good at, and she manages her home and family admirably.  So why isn't she happy?  She has a sense of loneliness and dissatisfaction with her life.  Her husband Jack is on a totally different 'planet', unaware that he has a wife he should be paying more attention to.  Meg's needs are not being met.  If I could I would want to grasp Jack by the shoulders and say, " Wake up".

When Meg indulges in a relationship with her boss, while enjoying it, she feels guilty and finishes it.  Jack is unforgiving and Meg wallows in self pity, guilt and shame.  She sees the pain it has caused Jack and her children.  Eventually Jack and Meg engage in some discussion and she tells him of her needs.  His response, "You should have told me".  Well yes, I guess so, but something makes me wonder if the Jack earlier on in the story would have just ignored it.  There is no apparent real reconciliation, perhaps this will come.  However both would need counselling and personal growth if Meg is to be truly fulfilled.

I felt Meg was asked to shoulder nearly all the blame for her unfaithfulness.  She attempts a few times to say she is going to be strong and seek what she is entitled to - but it is very wonky and fragile.  I felt Jack was a cardboard character, sure there are moments of humanity shown in the novel, but I can't say he was somebody I would really want to stay for.  As there are more books about other sisters, perhaps we will be given a little more insight into how this crisis has challenged him and invited him to grow.

I wavered between a three and a four for this book, but finally settled on a four, because it made me think long after I had turned off my Kindle!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...