Title: She's Gone Country
Author: Jane Porter
Release Date: August 23, 2010
Publisher: 5 Spot
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Shey Darcy has returned to Texas with her three sons after living in luxury in New York for most of her adult life. Her husband, John, has left her for someone else, and Shey is left to pick up the pieces. She finds solace in returning to Texas, in being near her family, but it’s a huge adjustment for her boys. And, if things weren’t complicated enough, there’s Dane Kelly, the man that Shey’s been in love with since sixteen. Will Shey be able to let go of the past and find her place, or will she always be haunted by “what if’s”?
I’ve really enjoyed Jane Porter’s previous chick lit novels, so when life was getting too busy and I wanted a light, easy read, I immediately turned to She’s Gone Country. I was excited to kick back and relax with an author who has proven herself to be a pro at writing believable and sympathetic female characters
I enjoyed getting to know Shey and seeing how she dealt with the hardships life had thrown at her. Her boys were definitely acting out, confused by their father’s behavior and unable to find comfort in their new and strange surroundings. Shey did her best to help them through the rough times, and though she definitely indulged her sons, I felt like she was a devoted and caring mom. Though I wasn’t intrigued by her professional career as a model, the book didn’t focus on that so it wasn’t really an issue. I did love Shey’s activism towards the end of the book, and wish that revelation had come much sooner – I would have appreciated more development of that topic.
I can’t say that I loved the relationship in She’s Gone Country as much as I thought I would. Dane was certainly a good man, and it was easy to understand the attraction between him and Shey. But the way it was written, the style and the steps through which it progressed, made it seem like much more of a romance novel, rather than chick lit. In some cases, there is a fine line between romance and chick lit, and this is one of those books where it’s difficult to tell. While I do like chick lit, romance isn’t generally a genre of interest for me, and as a result, the relationship didn’t really work. I found myself skimming those pages, and as the Shey/Dane romance is one of the main storylines, the book left me dissatisfied.
She’s Gone Country was still enjoyable, and if Porter chooses to write a sequel (the open end seems to invite one), I will definitely pick it up. I did really like Shey and would love to revisit her character and see what the future brings her.