The Good Wife

The Good Wife - Jane Porter 3.5 star read

The Good Wife is the final book in the Brennan Sisters' trilogy by author Jane Porter. The previous books, The Good Woman and The Good Daughter, highlighted the lives of the oldest and then the middle Brennan sisters, Mary Margaret (Meg) and Katherine Elizabeth (Kit). All of the books focus on the greater Brennan family dynamics, as well as spotlighting the individual sisters and their personal issues and problems. Sarah is the youngest Brennan sister and has spent much of her adult life away from her family. Her husband, Boone Walker, is a professional baseball player. Sarah and Boone have been married for over ten years and all of that time has been spent following Boone as he's moved from team-to-team. Now Sarah is thirty-five years old, a dedicated wife, and mother of two children: five-year-old Ella and eight-year-old Brennan. Unfortunately she doesn't think she has a role in life other than wife and mother. Can she find happiness with her husband and children if she isn't happy with herself?

Mirroring Sarah's saga is the story of Lauren Summer, a local chef/baker. Lauren became an unwed teen mother at the tender age of seventeen. Fortunately she had the love and support of her parents and older sister and eventually became the co-owner of a local bakery-cafe. Lauren was dealt an intense blow when her son was killed in a tragic car accident. Due to the circumstances surrounding her son's conception and birth, Lauren has severe trust issues with men. Her life had centered on her son and business for almost seventeen years and she needs time to grieve and reassess her life. This means leaving her hometown and family and moving a few hours away. When she attracts the attention of a professional baseball player she has to decide if she's willing to accept male friendship, companionship and open herself to the possibility of love.

I found The Good Wife to be a fast-paced read. It was fascinating to see how Lauren and Sarah's lives mirrored one another with their trust issues. Parts of the story were literally heart-wrenching as I read about the Brennan family's grief over the death of the matriarch, Marilyn Brennan, to cancer, not to mention Lauren's prolonged grief over the untimely death of her teenage son. Ultimately both Lauren and Sarah must learn to accept who they are and put just as much time and importance on their goals as they have with others. The Good Wife is much more than a story about an unhappy wife. Ms. Porter delves into the issue of self-fulfillment, marital fidelity, marital trust, forgiveness, grief, despair and a host of other family, as well as inter- and intra-personal issues. Sarah must decide if she has truly forgiven her husband for his past infidelity and trust that he is willingly in their marriage. Her doubts wind up making her borderline crazy and have the potential for causing her marriage to disintegrate due to her lack of trust issues. Is it possible to love too much? It probably isn't possible to love too much as long as we learn to love without sublimating our individuality. (Although this is the final book in the Brennan Sisters' trilogy, I personally want more...)