Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: The Good Wife, by Jane Porter

The Brennan sisters are back again in Jane Porter's third novel in the series, The Good Wife. I enjoyed reading about this lively Irish family in both The Good Woman and The Good Daughter. I knew I couldn't pass up the latest installment of these inter-connected stories.

Each book focuses on one sister; the eldest, Meg, in The Good Woman; Kit, in The Good Daughter; and now the youngest sister, Sarah, in The Good Wife. There is still another sister, as well as a sister-in-law, who haven't been highlighted yet, and I hope Porter plans on continuing the series with both of them. Although the characters are better and more deeply understood when all the books have been read, it is not necessary to have read them all to enjoy each one individually.

There is a lot going on in The Good Wife, including an ancillary story about a friend of one of the sisters. The Brennan family is in turmoil, reeling from loss and dealing with disappointments, fears, and major changes. But Sarah is the focus, and she has her own problems to deal with - on top of those with which her entire family is struggling.

After an ultimate betrayal, Sarah works hard for three years to maintain her family and her marriage. But when her life is knocked off balance by tragedy, Sarah's world begins to teeter on the brink of disaster. She doesn't know if she can continue pretending that everything is fine. She doesn't know if her marriage can survive. But her relationship with herself might be suffering the most.

Throughout the book, the Brennan family rallies together with varying degrees of success. Will they be able to help Sarah make the right decisions to once again set her life on a positive path?  They are a real family, loving and supportive, yet not without fault. Some things may be crumbling, but the Brennans are ever determined to set things right and come out on top.

I keep coming back to these books for the richly developed characters. They are more than one dimensional; they feel real. Like I could be having lunch in the Bay area and spot them at a table across the restaurant; laughing and crying together, having each other's backs, yet also causing one another to bristle with spoken harsh truths and perceived judgments. Like a real family.

I look forward to the next book and can't wait to get personal with another Brennan sister. Hopefully Porter complies!

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