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Book review: “The Good Woman” by Jane Porter

In Jane Porter's “The Good Woman,” an affair leads to big questions about life.
BY BETTY LYTLE Published: September 23, 2012
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“The Good Woman” (Berkley Books, $15, paperback) by Jane Porter is about Meg Brennan Roberts. The firstborn of a large Irish-American family, she works as a publicist for a local winery. She's a faithful wife and good mother. Her family counts on her to take care of things, especially in a crisis.

But she feels burned out, unappreciated and empty. Sex with her husband is routine, with little affection. He is engrossed in his work and hardly interested in her. She meets with her sisters for a girls' weekend every year at a seaside cottage, and this year she learned her mother's cancer has returned.

When Meg's boss asks her to accompany him to London for a wine conference, she goes and ends up having an affair with him. She feels so guilty that she resigns from her position at the winery, although she loves her job.

Her husband banishes her from their home, not allowing her to take the children. She goes to the beach cottage to try to work things out. Should she go on being everyone's doormat, or should she pursue happiness for herself?

Surprisingly, it is her sister Briana, who has always been her worst enemy, who gives her the support she needs.

— Betty Lytle