Author: Jane Porter
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (May 5, 2008)
As a young California girl growing up in a blue collar neighborhood, Taylor Young dreamed of being popular, beautiful, and acquiring a wardrobe to die for. Not to mention marrying a handsome, successful man and living happily ever after in a gorgeous house with three wonderful children. Now, at 36, Taylor has reached the pinnacle of her dreams, but is it all about to unravel? As the new school year approaches, Taylor prepares herself for playing the perfect alpha mom: organizing class activities, fund-raising, and chairing the school auction. But the horror! Her archrival, bohemian mom Marta Zinsser, is named Head Room Mom of Taylor's daughter's fifth grade class. As tensions rise at committee meetings and school activities, the two rivals seem to be destined for a final confrontation. But as Taylor plans her next move, she is floored by a more serious blow at home-her husband has been secretly unemployed for the past six months. With her posh lifestyle crumbling, Taylor struggles to maintain her alpha image-but could Marta, who cares little about appearances, be her only true friend?
When I read the first Bellevue Mom book titled “Odd Mom Out” by Jane Porter last year, I was really impressed with her writing and the way her characters all felt very real…. except that of Taylor Young, the perfect Stepford-wife ruling the roost in Bellevue. She gave the protagonist of that novel, Marta Zissner, a tough time for not only was she her complete opposite in every feasible way but also the ideal standard against which Marta’s young daughter Eva compared her and found Marta terribly lacking. As you can imagine, this didn’t endear Taylor to Marta or the readers. And yet, here she is, Taylor Young, in a book of her own aptly titled, ‘Mrs. Perfect’.
With evocative words and an occasional but perfect jab of humor, Jane Porter takes us behind the scenes for a look at the world of the perfect Bellevue mom. Taylor Young volunteers at school and elsewhere, works ceaselessly without being paid, and does it all impeccably dressed and looking utterly gorgeous. But don’t be taken in. The flip side to this includes the fact that she has eating disorders, has exchanged financial freedom for Manolo Blahniks, is always in competition with younger richer moms, worries about losing her looks and her husband (in that order) and so on. Taylor makes it all look breezily easy. But the author shows that in fact it takes tons of effort and constant hard work to remain head alpha Mom in a place as financially loaded and competitive as Bellevue. Plastic is this kind of Mom’s only recourse and she’s its slave – whether it’s in her bosom or in her purse. But does she have to remain so?
Kudos to Jane Porter for taking a not-so liked character from a previous novel and making her the likeable protagonist in her new novel. It’s not like Taylor (or the author) does a complete volte-face and thus redeems herself. Rather, when her circumstances change drastically, Taylor is forced to face some major home truths and in dealing with them, she grows and changes and realizes how shallow her previous life and viewpoint was. While she does it in a way that personally didn’t resonate with me, I could feel her pain. No one fears losing it all more than those who have it all. And Taylor had it all. However, that wasn’t always the case. Without revealing key details, suffice to say that readers get to see what made Taylor into a Stepford wife, why she remained like that and how she gets past that ultimately.
Overall, I quite liked the book - the characters, the setting, the plotting and the way this story is at once independent and yet a continuation of the previous book. There were certain things though which didn’t quite gel with me. The unexpected maturity shown by some of the younger characters towards the end appears a tad bit too fast and convenient for words. Also Taylor’s sudden compassion for a cheating friend is ambiguous at best. The one character I found majorly difficult to like or swallow was that of Nathan Young, Taylor’s husband. His distant behavior, his blaming Taylor for their difficulties and even more importantly, Taylor’s acceptance of this, was really hard for me to understand. Still, it all works out in the end.
Despite the requisite happy ending, this is a page-turner book with lots of emotion and entertainment. Yet another satisfying novel by author and a Bellevue mom herself, Jane Porter.
- Two lucky winners will each win both the books in the Bellevue Mom series, Mrs. Perfect and Odd Mom Out. ***** EDITED TO ADD ***** There will be 3 winners. One more prize has been added. See details at the end of post! Rules remain the same.
- US and Canada only
(sorry, international readers. However, my other book giveaway is open worldwide!)
- Ends 5 am CST, June 1
I'll make it simple.
- Just leave a comment with your email address.
- Something more than "enter me" will be appreciated.
- I'd highly appreciate it if entrants spread the word about this giveaway as well, either by blogging it or emailing other bookworms about it. But, it's not necessary.
(I'll send a lot of virtual blessings your way , if you do :)
Don't forget - I'm also giving away 4 AUTOGRAPHED books here and anyone in the world can enter to win!
If you've also reviewed this book, please leave a link in a comment.
****** EDITED TO ADD **********
Some of you may remember from a previous post, Lisa Ferry, artist extraordinaire and owner of the Etsy store, Ferry Tales!! Not only does she create magic with her fingers, but she also makes uniquely customized items for her buyers. I can personally vouch for this.
Lisa has especially created a custom-made silver book thong for this book giveaway!!!
<- Take a look at this beauty. Rules are same. Now there will be 3 winners instead of 2, with the lucky third winner walking away with this one-of-a-kind prize!!!!!
And do check out Ferry Tales. At Lisa's store you're bound to find (and hopefully order) something to your taste - be it jewelry or fairy lures, book thongs and more!
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