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Book Review | The Frog Prince by Jane Porter

November 20, 2008

The Frog Prince (Amazon link)
Web site of Jane Porter
Warner, May 18, 2005
384 pages
Book provided by Hachette Book Group USA
Women’s fiction
Book #106/08

From Amazon: Holly Bishop is the proverbial, small-town good girl. She always follows the rules, thinks of others first, and she never, ever makes mistakes. Until she marries the man she thought was her Prince Charming, who confesses on their honeymoon that he’s not sexually attracted to her. Now, 14 months after, Holly’s marriage is in the toilet, along with her self-esteem. Determined to start over, she moves to San Francisco, where she must navigate the landmines of dating in the big city. In the shadow of the Golden Gate and amid a population of wacky Bay Area eccentrics, Holly will discover that nice girls don’t always finish last. In fact, they sometimes end up with everything they’d ever wanted.

This is the 3rd Jane Porter book I’ve read in the last two weeks getting ready for her tour stop later this month. I found this book most enjoyable. I went into the book thinking I was going to get a breezy chick lit read about a 20-something trying to get her act together. I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised as this book is more than that. Sure Holly’s trying to pick up the pieces and put her life back together but beyond that she is dealing with some very real issues. Yes she struggles with marriage and divorce at young age within a quick time frame, moving to a new city, taking a job in a back-stabbing, highly competitive environment, disastrous dating dilemmas. What I didn’t expect with the complex family interaction side of the story.

Holly constantly wrestles with balancing her belief that her life will be lived happily ever after, just like the fairy tales read to her as child, with reality. The reality: life isn’t a fairy tale. Prince Charming isn’t going complete the dream. The one that lays shattered in pieces around her. I felt her real struggle came the with misplaced blame she projects on her mother for reading her these fairy tales. Her presumption that her mother let her believe something that wasn’t categorically true. She is down right angry that her mother let her falsely believe that she would live the dream.

Her childhood had a bump along the way and Holly hasn’t gotten past the devastation of what she perceives her father did to the family by leaving. Holly chooses to see her mother’s life, actions and reactions in a negative light and this colors her perception of the her world. She sees the life her mother has chosen to live and reacts as if that’s the life she’ll lead. She hasn’t moved pass the hurt of abandonment. She battles within herself being the child and the adult in her relationship with her mother. Mother/daughter relationships are loaded with land mines and Holly seems to be stepping on them around every corner. I totally connected with this part of the story line. I’m still amazed well into adulthood the feelings I let my mother bring out in me when we’re together. It doesn’t take long before the fireworks start.

Sure this book had some of the expected typical cliches but I felt it also had some underlying universal truths. I’m in the latter half of my 40s and still found a lot about the this book I enjoyed. The humor, the wit, the fun and the not so fun life lessons we forget when we’re in the middle of the action. What it’s like to be that young and maybe get a do over.

The author sums up the book like this “It’s the story of a twenty-something who has had her heart broken and realizes that life’s not a fairy tale – it’s more. It’s better. It’s huge and grand and exciting and heartbreaking. But we’ve got to put ourselves out there, we’ve got to not only read the story but live it, own it, make it, shape it.” What doesn’t matter in this statement is age. Whether you’re 20, 40, 60 or older make it yours and own it.

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One Comment
  1. November 20, 2008 4:00 pm

    You are on top of it with the Jane Porter books. I read Flirting With Forty and really enjoyed it.

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