By Melissa Amster
Considering that I had been waiting almost a year for this book to be released, I was definitely not disappointed once I finally had the opportunity to read it!
"She's Gone Country" follows Shey Darcy to her family's ranch in Texas. Shey is part of the Marta-Tiana-Shey trio that started in "Odd Mom Out" and was followed again in "Easy on the Eyes." It was not only fun to read Shey's story from her own point of view, but also to see what was happening with Marta and Tiana. This time around, Shey is coping with the fact that her husband left her for another man and trying to raise her teenage boys while fending off the opinions of her mother and brothers. She also is confronted by her past when she has several run-ins with a crush from her youth, Dane Kelly. Toss into the mix some struggles over child custody and various school issues and Jane Porter really has quite a story for her readers.
I enjoyed the easygoing nature of this novel. Shey's "voice" was a mix between uncertainty and confidence. She had a lot of inner struggles to deal with while also handling the outside forces working against her. I loved the sexual tension and chemistry between Shey and Dane. It kept me on my toes! I also found her conversations and issues with her sons to be very realistic and even heartbreaking at times. I was even brought to tears at one point!
The one concern I had with this story was that Shey had come up with a brilliant and amazing idea at one point. However, the idea was never explored any further and just showed up momentarily in the epilogue. I wish Ms. Porter had worked with this idea more instead of just coming up with it and leaving me wanting to know more about it. Also, there was another issue that was being worked on within Shey's family but then also got resolved within a chapter and never readdressed. I would have liked to have seen how the school actually went through with handling this issue or Ms. Porter could have talked about that in the epilogue as well. It's a serious issue going on in schools these days and it would have been nice for her to address it earlier on instead of waiting till the story was almost over and trying to tie it up in a short period of time. (In all fairness, she did hint to it throughout the story and Shey seemed oblivious for the most part. It took a while for the issue to finally get through to her.)
Overall, "She's Gone Country" was an enjoyable read. It had great emotional quality and some laughs too. There were even some fun surprises. From what Ms. Porter said in our interview last month, Marta, Shey and Tiana's stories will no longer be revisited. However, I hope she changes her mind or comes up with a story that talks more about all three of these dynamic and interesting women.
Thanks to Melissa from The Hachette Book Group for this review copy.