The Good Wife by Jane Porter

The Good Wife by Jane PorterBook Review
Title: The Good Wife (A Brennan Sisters Novel)
Author:  Jane Porter
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Released: September 3, 2013
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 0425253678
ISBN-13: 978-0425253670
Stars:  4.5

The Good Wife which asks the question, “Is it possible to love someone too much?” is the third book (and hopefully not final!) in the Brennan Sisters series by award-winning, national bestselling author Jane Porter who has more than five million copies of her books in print.  It’s also the one that caused me to shed the most tears.  Read it with a box of Kleenex at your side! I absolutely adore this series and Library Journal calls it, “An investment worth making for fans of smart women’s fiction.”  I couldn’t agree more.

This is the youngest Brennan sister’s story, that of beautiful Sarah Walker, wife of Tampa Bay Ray’s designated hitter and all-around “Spartacus” force of nature, N’awlins native Boone Walker, and mother of rambunctious eight-year-old son Brennan and his little sister Ella.  As the story opens, Sarah and the rest of her family are mourning the loss of their beloved mother to cancer and are attending her funeral.  Emotions are high, nerves frazzled, tempers at the boiling point. Sarah doesn’t approve of her sister Kit’s biker boyfriend Jude, her brother Tommy and his wife Cass are fighting over his unwillingness to try again to have a baby, there’s tension between Meg and Jack, and their sister Brianna is obviously ill but isn’t talking. All is not well in their big Irish Catholic family and we know for sure that nothing will be the same again.

Sarah, who gave up going to law school to marry her professional baseball player husband, is seriously struggling with trying to forgive him for cheating on her three years earlier. She wants to trust him but finds that she can’t and despite Sarah’s best efforts she’s spending her days obsessing over Boone and what he’s up to when he’s not home with her, which is most of the time as he’s on the road with the team.  Her family notices that she’s drinking too much wine and she’s lonely and exhausted at having to move her children and home yet again when Boone is traded to the Oakland A’s.

In the meantime we’re introduced to stunning bakery & café owner Lauren Summers who is trying to get on with her life after losing her seventeen-year-old sun Blake ten months earlier in a car accident. She’s left the business she owned with her sister Lisa in Napa to work for a struggling café owner in Alameda because she needed to get away and grieve in private.  Lauren is a friend of Sarah’s oldest sister Meg who we hear a lot more about in this book and who endures another tragedy after spending the last year trying to save her marriage after having an affair on her husband Jack.

Boone meets Lauren in Mama’s Café in Alameda and they soon become friends as he loves the food there, not to mention her company.  Lauren is someone he can talk to when Sarah, who is pushing him away, can’t be reasoned with.  At first Lauren develops a crush on him but when she finds out that he’s married with children and that he loves his wife, she tells herself that she can’t think about him in that way. Boone introduces her to his teammate, Chris Stier (who I happen to know was inspired by actor Chris Hemsworth…talk about heavy sigh!), who Lauren is determined not to give the time of day to.  But he’s not just a dark blonde, pony-tailed, hulking, overly confident, handsome athlete, he’s also smart, thoughtful and looking for a real relationship.

I love that Jane Porter’s male love interests are tall, muscular, handsome men who could charm the habit off a nun.  I’m attracted to both Boone and Chris, but for me, they’re not quite Jude Knight, who has been the one I would desire the most of all the men in Jane’s books and for that reason and the fact I relate the most to sister Kit, The Good Daughter is still my favourite of the Brennan Sisters novels.

There is a lot going on in this book, which is the longest in the series, and I love that we get to reconnect with Sarah’s sisters, Meg, Kit and Brianna.  These characters are by now old friends and we care about them and want to see them happy.  And even though Lauren is a new character, I found myself caring more about her than Sarah.  Is Lauren going to allow Chris into her heart?  Can she forget about Boone?  Will Sarah believe that Boone’s relationship with Lauren is truly platonic?  These questions and many more are waiting to be answered and once you start reading The Good Wife, you won’t want to put it down until you find out how it all turns out.

The Good Wife is full of gut-wrenching emotion, expressed honestly as always through the very authentic characters that Jane Porter has created. Its theme of the impact of infidelity on not only the couple involved but also their extended family is perfectly realized.  It also possesses a lot of love, humour, hope and redemption and is a story that I’m sure every woman can relate to in some way.

There has been some interest in these books being made into a television series and I can only implore the powers that be to please make it happen!  I’m someone who had never read romance or chick lit novels (except for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Daisy Dooley Does Divorce) before I discovered Jane Porter’s contemporary women’s fiction novels, but I credit her with influencing me to read more of them in the future.

Anna Pasternak Has A New Column in The Daily Mail!

Anna Pasternak photographed by Joel Anderson - Feb. 2010


Hello everyone!

My friend and client, Anna Pasternak, has been working hard on her writing over the past year and now has a brand new project to share with you. She is an Internet technology novice which is why I am here to help spread the news on her behalf.

This is the introductory article for Anna’s brand new column in the Daily Mail that will begin next week! We hope that you will join her on her journey through therapy, self-discovery and self-love. Your comments on the Daily Mail site will be most appreciated as the more that people express their feelings about the column, the longer Anna will stay employed!

Can therapy find me love? Divorced, single mother Anna Pasternak tries one last throw of the dice

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1249238/Can-therapy-love-Divorced-single-mother-Anna-Pasternak-tries-throw-dice.html

There will be a new fan page created on Facebook (where there is now one for her novel, Daisy Dooley Does Divorce) on which we will post the weekly links to the column and any other articles that Anna writes for the Daily Mail and I will be inviting you all to join it. That will happen next week.

In the meantime, Anna sends her love and best wishes to everyone and if you would like to leave her a comment, you can leave it here or at this article’s link on the Daily Mail website (where she will definitely read it).

We appreciate you!

Love & Light,
Christine for Team Anna & Daisy xx

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak

Book Review
Title: Daisy Dooley Does Divorce
Author: Anna Pasternak
Publisher: 5 Spot
Released: 2007
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 0446177946
ISBN-13: 978-0446177948
Stars: 4.5

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 10:55am (Facebook)

This is the book I’m reading at the moment…snug in my bed under my brand new duvet where I can totally ignore the horrendous winter that’s waiting outside along with an hour’s worth of snow shoveling!

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce is a humorous and heartfelt romp through 39-year-old Brit, Daisy Dooley’s divorce and her consequent quest to understand men, relationships, and most importantly herself and the decisions she makes. It’s a Bridget Jones’s Diary for divorcees and an easy, charming and highly enjoyable read. It is laugh out loud funny, often thought-provokingly poignant and Daisy’s penchant for spiritual/self-help books makes her a kindred spirit. You will love this heartwarming, easy-to-read-in-a-few-sittings book about friendship and daring to realize one’s dreams, even if you’re not divorced or have never been married. Anyone who has been disappointed at some point in her life by love will find so much in common with delightful Daisy. She’s full of spirit, sass and sensitivity and if she were a real person I would want to be her friend.

This particular nugget of wisdom struck me this morning when I read it…

It was true – my heart was like Miles’s shelves, gnawed and splintered with emotional woodworm. I read on: “The difference between a little life and a big life is trust. Trust is the midwife of a big life. People only choose little lives because they don’t trust and they want to control.” That’s the most difficult thing in life, I thought, getting the balance right between not giving up on your dreams and yet having enough faith in their fruition to let them go.

This paragraph rings so true to me as I struggle every day of my life with climbing the mountain of adversity (the mountain that I know is largely self-made) and self-doubt, all the while wondering if I even believe in true love anymore, let alone have the faith that it will find me some day. I have to be willing to be open to it, to trust that it exists and that eventually there will be a man out there who won’t lie to me, use me, play me for the fool, trod all over my broken heart and leave me to reinforce my bitter, cynical, untrusting view of men. They can’t all be utter heartless, cruel, dishonest cads, can they? Now if I could just believe that and hold it as truth in my heart, I might have a fighting chance of actually attracting the right one. Must focus on The Law of Attraction and believe that I deserve the love of a truly good man! If I believe he’s out there, he will be and he will find me.

Discovering the novel Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak was the biggest joy I had in reading in 2008. The book was based on Anna’s weekly column of the same name in the London Daily Mail (it has since been retired). Anna’s honesty as a writer, the depth of her characters and her fantastic wit quickly made her a new favourite author and any woman who enjoys chick/wit lit or romance and relationships between women will undoubtedly love this book.

This is the review that changed my life.

It began with my becoming acquainted with a lovely, intelligent woman named Paige O’Neill who is the person who looks after The Waterboys’ online presence on numerous social networking websites. Paige and I connected in 2006 when I sent Mike Scott of The Waterboys a personal letter about a sick friend of mine who was a huge fan (as am I). We became good friends online and in the past three years she has become a soul sister of immense importance in my life, even though I have never met her in person.

Paige looks after the maintenance of Daisy Dooley’s MySpace profile for Anna Pasternak and in March 2008, after reading my review of the book, and with Paige’s recommendation, Anna asked me to help her maintain a Facebook fan page and group for Daisy Dooley. I was honoured to do it and I even got paid for it.

Since then, and as a result of Paige and Anna’s unfailing support and encouragement, I formed my own business, Scully Love Promo, promoting authors & musicians using the major social networking websites on the internet. Over the past year and a half, I have worked for at least 10 different talented artists and although this is only a part-time endeavor for me at this time, I believe there is a good chance that it could one day become my full-time job. And I love it! I love spreading the love about artists that I respect and admire. I’ve done this naturally for many years through my review writing and in every day conversation with friends. However, now I get paid to do it, and I owe that privilege to Paige O’Neill and Anna Pasternak, who are the most amazingly resilient, spiritual, intelligent, and loving women and friends that anyone could hope to have.

Above all else, that is why I continue to recommend this delightful book, Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak (available through 5 Spot, a division of Hachette Books, Grand Central’s trade paperback imprint featuring fresh, original voices in women’s fiction and nonfiction).

Anna Pasternak Speaking at Henley Literary Festival in September!

The lovely Anna Pasternak, author of Daisy Dooley Does Divorce, would like you to know that she will be speaking at the Henley Literary Festival on Saturday, September 20th, 2008 at 4:00 pm. If you would like to see (and possibly meet) Anna in person and you live in the UK near London, this is your chance! All information about the Henley Literary Festival can be found at this link:

http://www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk/

32 – Anna Pasternak and Marius Brill – Battle of the Sexes – £5
16.00
Phyllis Court

Journalists Anna Pasternak and Marius Brill took Fielding’s Jones (Bridget not Tom) model into the 21st century, but in opposite directions. One laughed with her, the other at her.  Pasternak’s Daisy Dooley Does Divorce was described as “frequently hilarious and sharply, wittily written” by the Daily Mail. Brill’s Making Love, a Conspiracy of the Heart inspired this warning from Time Out: “Women who snort when they laugh and men prone to getting erections in public should read this at home.” Now the two authors go head to head to defend their comic visions and give insights into what makes us laugh.

http://www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk/programme2.html#pasternak

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak

Scully Love Promo (a.k.a. Christine Bode) would like to tell you about a fantastically funny, heartwarming delight of a book called:

DAISY DOOLEY DOES DIVORCE by Anna Pasternak

It’s a funny inspiring tale for anyone who has braved the courageous and sometimes disastrous journey towards true love.

Meet Daisy Dooley:

“The only thing sadder than being thirty-nine and still single is being thirty-nine and freshly divorced. And unemployed. And living with your mother. (And her dogs.)”

In the tradition of Sex and the City and Bridget Jones’s Diary, Anna Pasternak’s popular column in the London Daily Mail, Daisy Dooley Does Divorce, has evolved into this witty novel full of hope, humor, wine…and dachshunds.

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce has a profile on MySpace and a Fan Page and a Group (Fans of Daisy Dooley Does Divorce) on Facebook, each one with slightly different content, celebrating the novel. I invite you to read about it and its lovely author there and add yourself as a fan. All you have to do is type Daisy Dooley in the Search box on the top left hand corner of your Facebook profile.

Publisher: 5 Spot (Hachette Book Group USA) / Ebury Publishing under their Vermilion titles in the UK

Author Bio:

ANNA PASTERNAK is the author of the popular column, Daisy Dooley Does Divorce, which has been running in London’s Daily Mail since November of 2004. She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Princess in Love about Diana’s love affair with Major James Hewitt. The grandniece of Russian novelist Boris Pasternak of Dr. Zhivago fame, she lives outside of London with her daughter Daisy and her dog Wilfred.

More about Anna, by Anna:

Believe it or not, a woman as daft, ditzy, desperate, daring and occasionally as delightful as Daisy Dooley is someone I relate closely to. I’m not saying I’m quite that self-absorbed. Actually that’s a fib because I am. But really my life had started out with such promise. The idyllic childhood. The famous ancestry. The revered Oxford academic father. The beautiful interior designer mother. The place at Oxford University with the glittering social life to match. With a siren-spinning surname, I owed it to myself and my family to do something of note. So of course my future was all mapped out. I’d waltz out of Oxford and into some top job that marked me out as special, wouldn’t I? But that wasn’t quite the way it happened, and it knocked me for quite a loop. Really, who wouldn’t agonize over such monumental life cock-ups- realizing on your honeymoon that you had married the wrong man. Come on, could it get any worse?

Naturally I worried myself half to death about how I was then going to get my life right, let alone learn to love again- myself and a worthy mate, that is. So Daisy Dooley was born out of my own ridiculous and miserable myopic marriage and divorce, followed by my dire dating experiences. I found that the only way to reach the other side of unhappiness and raging insanity was to poke fun and send myself up in the most unbecoming, but hopefully often endearing ways. And judging by the sales in self-help, I can’t be the only woman who has stood in a bookshop by a stack of best sellers, feeling utterly broken inside and turned with trembling hands to any uplifting tome that might just instill a further nugget of promise that actually, yes, if you believe this or chant that, you will feel less of a failure and more emotionally grounded and secure.

As I ricocheted from starter marriage to a relationship with a younger man that ended in- further shock and horror- my single mother status, at least I clung to my spiritual support. I began to believe in something bigger than myself- if the knight on the white charger wasn’t going to save me, at least my guardian angel might. I’ve lived through all Daisy’s disappointments but have an amazing daughter to show for it. And would you believe it, after all the life knocks, I still believe in the happy ending!