Thursday, August 26, 2010

review: she's gone country by jane porter

When her husband proclaims he’s always been gay, but thought he could make it work with her (only now he can’t), Shey hightails it back home to Texas with their three sons. But is Texas really the best place for this New York family? Shey is a model and there aren’t many modeling jobs available in Texas. Her three city-raised, private-schooled boys also have to adjust to life on a ranch. The youngest embraces the new life, but the older boys struggle. One is the victim of bullying, which only makes his depression worse. Even so, Shey is determined to stay in Texas; and once she finds that her high school crush is in town and single, she’s even more motivated to make this new life work.

Shey struck me as incredibly selfish. To pull her sons from everything they know (including their father) because she’s having difficulty accepting that her going to be ex-husband now lives with a man reeks of selfishness. When her oldest gets the courage to say he wants to live in New York, Shey backs out of the discussion while her internal monologue is all about how she will miss him and how she can’t lose him. She also seems to give little thought to how the distance between the boys and their father exacerbates their already strained relationship. Furthermore, although Shey states she has no problem with gay men, it came across as protesting too much. It seemed that, despite her words, she really was more upset that the cheating was with a man than the cheating itself. It would’ve done much for Shey’s character had she done more than simply state that John wasn’t trying to hurt the boys when attempting to get them to accept their father’s relationship with Erik.

While I had little sympathy for Shey, I appreciated how she helped Delilah, a classmate of her son, Bo (the one with depression). I really liked Delilah and wish she’d been a bigger part of the story. At least her brief appearances inspired Shey to stop being so selfish! Not connecting with Shey didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of She’s Gone Country though because so many of the other characters were great. I really liked how individual each of the boys was. However, I found the ending to wrap things up far too neatly. While it’s nice to get a happy ending, I felt the book ended better without the one and a half page epilogue.
Review copy provided by BookSparksPR.
ARC Review

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