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By the Chapter, Day 1 | Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter

March 9, 2009

mrsperfectWelcome to By the Chapter. This week’s featured book is Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter. Sharing hosting duties with me this week is Amy from My Friend Amy.


If you’re not familiar with Mrs. Perfect here’s a little background on the book from Amazon:

Taylor Young has convinced the other suburban mothers of Bellevue, Wash., that she’s the quintessential supermom who manages to stay impeccably coiffed while tending to her dapper husband, three amazing wee ones and picture-perfect home. But she has never shaken off her own insecurities, which include a psychic hangover from her troubled upbringing and an ongoing battle with bulimia. When hubby Nathan drops a bombshell on her, Taylor is forced to confront her fears and the reality of how her life will change, not necessarily for the better. While Taylor would be easy to loathe, her frailties and insecurities go a long way to turning her into an endearing lead, making this less dopey and more poignant than the standard mommy lit fare.


I’ve read the first 7 chapters of this 25 chapter book. So far…

I first meet Taylor Young in Jane Porter’s book, Odd Mom Out. That wasn’t Taylor’s story but that of Marta Zinsser and her daughter Eva. Now the tables are turned. Marta will be a player but Taylor is front stage, center.

Taylor Young would appear to have it all. She is married to Nathan, her handsome, highly successful husband who is still in love with her after 16 years. They have three beautiful daughters: Jemma, Brooke and Tori who attend the right schools, play sports, take dance and music lessons and hang out at the country club with their friends. They live in a gorgeous home, Taylor herself designed, in a beautiful, high-class residential area, she drives a luxury SUV, shops with platinum credit cards, vacations in trendy spots along well-heeled friends. Beneath the glossy exterior lurks dark secrets and insecurities. Her childhood was a far cry from her current life and she’s worked damn hard to get where she is today. Taylor is wound tighter than a spring, suffers from major self-esteem and body image issues and completely over compensates. She doesn’t dare let anyone but Nathan know where she’s come from or how she got where she is today. Unfortunately her world is about to come crashing down around her perfectly coiffed hair in ways she’s never imagined. A part of her suspects, but refuses to believe, that Nathan is cheating. Then one day she answers the phone and the person calling is, hold on here, a Realtor. A Realtor? Yep and it appears the Youngs are relocating. And they say the wife is the last to know.


What I love about Ms. Porter’s books are the characters and she’s done a superb job of creating Taylor Young both in Mrs. Perfect and Odd Mom Out. I’ve lived in the Bellevue, Washington area for a number of years surrounded by old money and Microsoft millionaires. Bellevue wives are perfectly turned out every time they leave the house and hop into their fancy cars and high-end SUVs. Whether it’s lunch with girlfriends and shopping at Bell Square, dropping the kids at school, or stopping by the grocery store you can’t miss a Bellevue Wife. That’s not to say that the everyday people aren’t there, they are. You just tend to notice a Bellevue Wife. Taylor Young is a very good example. She is immaculately dressed, over booked and stressed out as she serves on every, very important school committee, is seen in all the right places with all the right people. You don’t dare let your guard down and you definitely keep up with the Jones’, the Gates’ and the Allen’s if not two steps ahead.

Also her books are so real and genuine. Real people, real everyday problems. Struggles with balancing family and work. Keeping your head above water while paddling as hard you can hoping you don’t sink along the way. Her writing is witty, humorous and engaging. She’s a fairly new author to me and quickly has become one of my favorites.


If you’ve read, or are currently reading, Mrs. Perfectl please share your thoughts with us.

This week’s reading scheduling:
Monday: The Printed Page
Tuesday: Amy from My Friend Amy
Wednesday: The Printed Page
Thursday: Amy from My Friend Amy
Friday: The Printed Page/Amy from My Friend Amy



  1. March 9, 2009 6:43 am

    I finished the book last week so I could participate with you guys. I have to admit that right off, I had a hard time tolerating Taylor and her attitudes, opinions, etc. I will say that I do know some people with a lot of the same traits as Taylor and I do think Ms. Porter did a good job developing her character.

  2. March 9, 2009 10:06 am

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for stopping by today. Like you I have a difficult time tolerating Taylor but I knew what to expect as I’d meet her before in <em<Odd Mom Out. When I lived in Washington state these ladies were commonly referred to as the Bellevue Bitches because of the snobby attitudes and high opinions of themselves. Though I have the feeling that Taylor is about to be throughly humbled.

  3. March 9, 2009 11:00 am

    You’ve got me intrigued now.

  4. March 9, 2009 6:45 pm

    It’s so funny, because I was thinking…I can’t relate to Taylor at all!! But the truth is deep down inside there are some things I can relate to.

    I agree that Jane does a really fabulous job of creating characters that seem real. I’m only up to chap. 10 I’ll try to finish a few more by tomorrow’s post 🙂

  5. March 9, 2009 9:39 pm

    I enjoyed this book and I think I’m going to enjoy reading you guys’ by the chapter reviews!

  6. March 9, 2009 10:45 pm

    Oh my goodness! I live about 5 miles outside of Bellevue! Are you still in the area?? I got to meet Jane Porter a few months ago, and she was wonderful!!

    🙂 Wendi

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