Title: Mrs. Perfect
Author: Jane Porter
Release Date: May 1, 2008
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the back cover:
For Taylor Young, life is very good. She has a handsome husband who loves her, three gorgeous children, a personally designed and decorated dream home. Suburbanite trendsetter and super mom, she reigns supreme over her perfect world. And as long as no one notices the fragile woman beneath her coiffed and polished image, things will stay that way.
Then a devastating secret bursts Taylor’s fairy tale bubble, suddenly making her a cul-de-sac pariah and stripping her of the role that defined her. Struggling to maintain her alpha image, Taylor finds help from the unlikeliest of people, her nonconformist nemesis, Marta Zinsser. Bur to become the woman her family truly needs, Taylor must first believe in the person she is hardest on – herself.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Jane Porter, but I’ve never actually read anything by her. When Miriam at Hachette offered me the chance to review four of Jane Porter’s novels, I was thrilled! Here was the perfect chance to be introduced to the author that I know many women love.
After reading Mrs. Perfect, I have only one question: why did I wait so long?
First, one thing I wasn’t aware of before I started the book: it is sort-of a sequel. Marta, who is a major character in the book, is the subject of Porter’s previous novel Odd Mom Out. I don’t think it’s necessary to read them in order, but if I had known this before, I would have read Odd Mom Out first just because I am picky like that!
I have to say, I loved the character of Taylor. Normally, I would just shake my head at a character such as her: compulsive shopper (A $1,600 Michael Kors skirt is mentioned in the novel), stay-at-home mom who has a nanny, and basically is a queen bee in her very expensive social circle. But it was her insecurities that grabbed me: her fear of turning into her mother and the fact that she is inherently afraid that she is unlovable. Porter managed to transform Taylor into someone else entirely, someone who appears to have it all but is deeply depressed underneath. Taylor thought having money would fix everything, but she is proof that it’s not the case.
I definitely had major problems with Nathan. Unfortunately, I can’t go into much detail without giving away key plot details. Let’s just say that though he does provide insight and understanding at the end of the novel, he really does act pretty horribly through the course of the book.
The story of Mrs. Perfect is sympathetic, powerful, and completely gripping. Though it is longer than most typical chick lit novel, the pages really flew by. I also loved the fact that it wasn’t one of those “embarrassment” novels, which is what I was afraid of when I started the book. By that, I mean one of those books where a rich woman falls from grace and is snubbed by her friends, and most of the book is her being embarrassed again and again. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely elements of that, but it is pretty far in the periphery of the book. This novel is more human and real, and Taylor is also a very strong character. It’s not so much that she is super-woman, but rather, she rolls up her sleeves and does what she has to do. Isn’t that what being strong is?
I highly recommend Mrs. Perfect to anyone and everyone who thinks it sounds in the least bit interesting. Stay tuned for my other Jane Porter reviews, including Odd Mom Out – I’ll let you know if reading that one first matters! And a big thank you to Miriam at Hachette for sending me these books!