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By the Chapter, Day 5 | Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter

March 13, 2009

mrsperfectWelcome to By the Chapter. This week’s featured book is Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter. I’d like to thank Amy from My Friend Amy for sharing hosting duties with me this week.

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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.

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I finished Mrs. Perfect Wednesday afternoon. Of the 4 books I’ve read and Ms. Porter has written for 5 Spot I by far found this book to be the most current and relevant given what is happening in the United States today. She touches on so many issues large and small.

1) Personal issues for women and girls such as self-image, self-esteem, perfectionism, having to do all be all, the belittling ways we treat ourselves and each other. We have this perception that we’re never good enough fed to us by society in general but specifically TV, magazines and newspapers. Stop already! We need to give ourselves the credit we deserve. We spend so much time with mean self-talk and wallowing in guilt that we forget to look at our accomplishments and pat ourselves on the back. Chapter 23 sums it up best. If you don’t read the book at least read this chapter.

Taylor is so mired and bogged down in her issues that they consume her eating away at her self-respect, her marriage, her family. We know Taylor is a survivor as evidenced by the life she’s built after overcoming childhood adversity. She’s a strong capable woman, achieving more than she ever dreamed she would. This woman accomplishes more in the single day than I do in a week or two. It’s just that she refuses to recognize her worthiness. She takes herself too seriously. As we watch her life crumble we catch glimpses of the woman Taylor once was but I don’t think they’re enough to truly save her. Through working with Marta Taylor gets a fresh take on coping. Unfortunately I don’t think she has the proper support system to help her through the challenges that lie ahead.

And her husband, Nathan, is a piece of work. As much as Taylor loves him forgiveness comes a bit too easy. The circumstances while extremely stressful don’t justify his behavior. He doesn’t do Taylor, or himself, any favors by lying and hiding behind excuses. But then again he is human. And as Taylor and we’ve all learned we aren’t perfect.

2) The allure and seduction of money! Ah the Young’s seemingly have it all. This lavish lifestyle covered in its glossy veneer. The storybook marriage, adorable children, a big beautiful home, fancy cars and clothes, the country club and gym memberships and rubbing shoulders with the other pretty people. Honestly the money would be nice, I’d be lying if I told you differently, but not at the expense of my marriage and friends. True, stick by you through thick and thin friends. Not the snotty, brittle, backstabbing group that surrounds Taylor. She learns a difficult lesson at the hands of these women. And really what did all that frivolous spending get her? A boat load of trouble and heartache.

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So with all the being said I loved it. Ms. Porter writes a deeper than surface level of chick lit and beach read with this book. Frankly I was expecting this book to be a bit lighter in subject matter but I most certainly wasn’t disappointed. She always writes with realism and touches of humor no matter how bleak the situation. And her characterization of Taylor was spot on. Having meet Taylor originally in Odd Mom Out I wasn’t expecting to like her very much. I still don’t think I’d be friends with Taylor but I have a new found respect for her.  

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

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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

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flyingbooks1

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4 Comments
  1. March 13, 2009 2:42 pm

    You and Amy really have me anxious to read this one. Following your progress on this one has been a lot of fun.

  2. March 13, 2009 10:33 pm

    Good analysis Marcia! It is particularly relevant right now. Thanks for having me and can’t wait for next time!

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