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By the Chapter, Day 3 | Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter

March 11, 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’m about 6o pages from finishing the book and really only put it down to write this post.

After coping with childhood feelings of abandonment and insecurity, creating a new persona for herself in college and building a dream world the picture perfect life that Taylor leads has shattered and the truths about her, her marriage and the need to perfect and ‘on’ all the time have been revealed. I’m not going to any deeper into this story line as I don’t want to spoil this great book for you, the readers.


Taylor isn’t easy to like. She didn’t start out being likable and still, at times, I don’t like her. I don’t agree with her values and attitudes. Her priorities aren’t always in the best order. She’s lost in a haze of perfection and perception issues. Though her husband Nathan isn’t such a great guy himself having lied to Taylor placing a large part of the blame for their current dire straits at her feet because he ‘knew how she’d react’. Later in the book he chides her for selling the furniture for $25,000. To Taylor that sum means a home, food on the table and bills being paid on time. To Nathan it’s a failure on Taylor’s part and just another bad decision.

As the story progresses you begin to see bits and pieces of the woman that she once was. Underneath the glossy, high-priced exterior she’s a survivor. She fought for this, something totally opposite of her childhood. She battled adversity and built a life she’s extremely proud of. But somewhere along the way she lost herself. She got tangled up in the real issues of today – self-esteem and image,  juggling marriage and children, providing better for your children than you had yourself, keeping up even if it means living beyond your income. I could go on as the list is endless. She thinks that whatever she does is never good enough. She can always improve, be better, and do more. She’s never satisfied; she’s always pushing the bar higher until it falls.

Taylor is flawed but then aren’t we all. I’m far, far from perfect. Though unlike Taylor I don’t obsess over my imperfections nor do I beat myself. I’ve chosen a different path, a different way of dealing. Each of us must choose what works for us and then make the best of it.


I’m enjoying this book much more than I thought I would. It wasn’t the book I was expecting. But then her books always become more than just light, beach chick lit. I love Ms. Porter’s writing. She draws me right into the story. I get involved with her characters and I care what happens to them.


If you’ve read, or are currently reading, Mrs. Perfect 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 11, 2009 6:36 am

    I agree with you! I love Ms. Porter’s books and they are a little bit deeper than normal chick lit. I, unfortunately, am a lot like Taylor in that I do beat myself up for any little thing that I do wrong. I’m definitely not as rich, thin or pretty as Taylor; but I do understand the constant insecurity about appearances. It is definitely something I have worked on throughout the years; and like Taylor, I think as women mature they realize what’s really important.

  2. March 11, 2009 8:41 am

    Hi Marcia, I have awarded you the Proximidade award. Stop by and pick up the logo,etc.

  3. March 11, 2009 8:48 am

    Between you, Amy and Julie, I’m really anxious to read this one!

  4. March 11, 2009 7:47 pm

    I’m really enjoying your by the chapter reviews! I agree with your assessment of Taylor. You get to see more of the actual person, rather than the mask, as the book progresses.

  5. March 11, 2009 10:40 pm

    Thank you. I’m have a great time hosting with Amy. Taylor’s an amazing person when she lets up on herself and just does instead of beating herself up. Those insecurities would always be a challenge for her if she was more than a character on paper. It’s a very relevant and current book.

  6. March 11, 2009 11:24 pm

    You’re right Marcia, that’s it’s a very relevant book. I’m not as far as you, but I’m still loving it. I need some help forgiving Nathan though!!

  7. March 12, 2009 6:27 pm

    I’ve got to get a Jane Porter book on my TBR. They always sound good.

    Loving By the Chapter – it’s a great feature!

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