Did any of you ladies find that you could relate to this story in any way?
MARIA:I don't know about you ladies, but I totally related to this book as the background was so similar to my own. Like Meg, I'm one of four sisters of Irish Catholic origin. I was the eldest. I have a sister who is a nurse who I just don't see eye to eye with. It was downright uncanny. Also, the mother was a cancer survivor and so is my own. Do any of you girls find stuff here which you can relate to?
DESERE; Maria for me I could not really find anything to relate to as I am one of three sisters, but we get along just fine. And my mom is as healthy as can be. So the only thing I will say is that I could relate that sometimes you need to make hard choices in life.
NAS: Like Desere, I’m one of three sisters and we all get along fine. But it was lovely reading about the dynamics of sisterly relationship in The Good Wife.
Meg seems to be getting more and more fed up with the idea that she is the responsible sister who has to be strong for everyone. Do you feel that she had a point or was she just being selfish?
MARIA: Being the eldest, the parents had leaned on her a lot and even put her under pressure. This was a mistake they made and as a parent I’ve probably even made the same mistake myself. She doesn’t seem to have ever gotten over playing that responsible role and probably relegated her husband to the background by playing this role even in her marriage. Sometimes we have to hand over charge to someone and just let someone else lead. I think that she was crying out to do this and it’s not selfish. She just didn’t know how to assert herself and was a bit passive aggressive.
DESERE; Here I can totally relate I am always in charge of everything for my sisters and most people in my home, I am called the brainy one and I have a knack for solving problems, but I do not think Meg was being selfish as I can relate, you get to a point where it sometimes just feels too much.
NAS: No, Meg was not being selfish. She just wanted to assert herself more.
Do you think that Meg really had a marriage problem, that her husband took her for granted? Surely in a healthy, secure relationship you should be able to take your partner
MARIA: We should be able to take our partner for granted but we should always try to make them feel cherished and special; sometimes that takes a little work. Meg’s husband had stopped trying years ago and Meg was feeling lonely and neglected. That was so sad. Tragic, even.
DESERE: I agree in a secure relationship one should so no I do not think he really took her for granted,I would say he just needed a little push or reminder if you will, that she was still there.
NAS: People do tend to take their partners for granted after a while. Yet we all cry out for a little attention and appreciation from time to time.
Although Meg was the main character, the other sisters had interesting dilemmas facing them. Do you think that Kit was right to give her live in partner an ultimatum about marriage?
MARIA: I think she was right to give him the ultimatum, because she wanted so much to marry and have a family. It was unfair of him to string her along for years and take all her love and comfort and not give her the security she wanted. She was certainly better off without him.
DESERE: I so agree with you I loved how the other sisters got fantastic mentions from the author, made the book more ‘homey’ and gave the perfect family feel. I am going to say no Kit was not right, as I feel when the time is right the person will ask, we all have insecurities and goodness knows men have serious commitment issues sometimes but if the person has not asked, it is because they are not ready,if you truly love him then wait if not it was not meant to be and you need to move on.
NAS: Bravo Desere! Well said! Yet Maria is also correct. As women, sometimes we do need to prod a man to make a commitment and show how invested he is in the relationship or just move along.
Brianna was the sister who had the tendency to really kick ass. Is it possible to feel sympathy for this character or do you feel she had a point?
DESERE: I feel she had a very valid point as again I can relate sometimes to get the job done you need to kick a little ass here and there. Instead of letting life walk all over you.
MARIA: At first I really dreaded this character and couldn’t stand her. Then later in the book I came to know that a a young girl she was dealt with very harshly by her father who sought to protect her from the possible consequences some of her sometimes reckless actions by beating and humiliating her. He was this patriarchal father who was also a fireman. His word was law in the family. Suddenly, I understood her inner anger and realized why she so resented Meg, the so-called perfect daughter. I also found it interesting that when Meg’s younger sister Sarah turned away from her after she fell from grace, Brianna actually supported her. That was very touching.
NAS: I felt Brianna was sensitive and soft underneath all that hard exterior.
Sarah, the youngest sister, was married to a fading baseball star who had cheated on her recently. She had forgiven him and was trying to make her marriage work for the sake of the children. Do you feel that she was right to try and save her relationship or was she cowardly, afraid to go out on her own in life?
MARIA: I can understand Sarah’s feeling of trying to hold on to her marriage at any cost, but the cost of your self respect is way too high. I totally relate to her trying to keep her marriage together but I feel, if this story goes on, that the day will come when she will one day walk out for the sake of her sanity. How can you go on living with a person who lies to you and cheats on you? That’s why she was so furious with Meg – Meg was married to a man who never cheated yet she cheated. But just ‘not cheating’ is not good enough either. It would have been difficult for Sarah to see that, though.
DESERE: Personally I cannot say I have ever known the feeling of being cheated on but having seen it happen in real life to a dear friend, who tried her utmost to make it work for the sake of her kids, I am going to say she was no coward at all, she took the time to think about her children putting them first, which can be very hard to do but as a mom I know it is the best you can do. If it does not work out after the second try you will at least be able to tell your kids that you tried for their sake you put aside your happiness and thought of them first.
NAS: I agree with you Maria and Desere also makes a valid point.
What did you think of the fact that the Brennan Girls had a getaway every so often? Although they were scattered, they got together, sans men, very so often to just recharge.
MARIA: I thought it was a terrific idea.
DESERE:I totally loved the idea I think it important to get away and recharge and when with sisters it can be so much fun as they know your life story and can sometimes even relate. So yes loved the idea!! Well done Jane.
NAS: I wish we could get together and have book discussions and life discussions once so often! It would certainly recharge me! The idea is intriguing!
Do you think Meg made the right choices in the end? Were you satisfied with the conclusion of the story?
MARIA: Meg fell into this affair with Chad because Jack was neglecting her emotionally and physically and because she was around Chad all the time and he really fancied her. When she came to her senses, she left her job and ended the affair but by then her husband came to know and threw her out. Meg could have gone back to Chad, but she didn’t. She stayed in a house owned by her family and spent time alone and when the time was right, she came back. I think she was right to give her marriage another try. I think Chad was also good, in his own way and the best part was, he totally understood her need to return and he and his brother were supportive of her decision. I was very touched when Meg’s husband realized his mistake and then they
decided to try again. Yes, I found the ending satisfactory.
DESERE: Yes I was happy with the ending as I think she found the level of happiness she needed, and that she knows the "darker" side of life so to speak and has learned from it.
NAS: Yes, I was also happy and we all got to take away a little lesson from Meg’s experience!
Thanks ladies! Great discussion. Some interesting issues here.
THE GOOD WOMAN By Jane Porter
The firstborn of a large Irish-American family, Meg Brennan Roberts is a successful publicist, faithful wife, and doting mother who prides herself on always making the right decisions. But years of being “the good woman” have taken a toll and though her winery career thrives, Meg feels burned out and empty, and more disconnected than ever from her increasingly distant husband. Lonely and disheartened, she attends the London Wine Fair with her boss, ruggedly handsome vintner, Chad Hallahan. It’s here, alone together in an exotic city, far from “real” life, that Chad confesses his long-standing desire for Meg.
Overwhelmed, flattered, and desperately confused, Meg returns home, only to suddenly question every choice she’s ever made, especially that of her marriage. For Meg, something’s got to give, and for once in her life she flees her responsibilities—but with consequences as reckless and irreversible as they are liberating. Now she must decide whether being the person everyone needs is worth losing the woman she was meant to be.