By: Jane Porter
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: June 2015
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: June 2015
Jane Porter treats her audience to a good read in her latest novel, It’s You.
Alison (Ali) McAdams is the ‘it girl’ in It’s You (no pun intended). She is a successful dentist. She loves her work. She is bright, easy on the eyes...lives in glorious Scottsdale, Arizona. When the sudden derailment of her happily ever after rocks her world, however, ‘it’ is soon replaced with ‘lost.’ How could she know when she went out to pick up ice cream that her return home would be a greeting of her fiancé Andrew swinging from the chandelier—the end result of his successful suicide mission.
Compound the death of Andrew with the recent passing of her mother and Ali is grateful her Dad is still alive; albeit their relationship isn’t the greatest. He lives in Napa in an assisted living facility. When Ali is summoned to California by her father for a visit, it was perfect planetary alignment. Call it coincidence, but it seems Ali’s business partner insists (mandates) she take a break around the same time. Once in Napa, Ali begins to understand the full depths of her sorrow and fears she doesn’t have the strength of facing her future without Andrew by her side. Unbeknownst to Ali, brusque and cantankerous Edie is about to enter her life and with her, she brings the prospect of hope and healing for Ali.
I’ve not had the pleasure of reading any of Ms. Porter’s previous work. However, I will say It’s You is a great introduction. Porter has a strong familiarity and connection with her first person narrative style and it resonates across the pages. Her main character, Alison (Ali) McAdams, is believable in that her story is relatable: true love found, true love lost and all that is left is the painful clean-up of emotional wreckage. After reading It’s You,I wanted to know more about Ms. Porter. As I often do with many authors I review, I want to learn more about the author to understand what inspires them to write what they write. I happened upon a nugget of a YouTube interview. Ms. Porter was posed with the question of (and I’m paraphrasing, here) ‘...what’s your winning formula...’ to which she answered to near perfection by explaining the reality that not everyone is going to like your work. There are naysayers as much as there are undying fans. The object is to know the audience YOU are writing for; stay true to your audience and go for it. Having such clear vision enables the writer to sit down and focus solely on the solid construction of a good story. I’d venture to guess this was how It’s You was born - a definite ‘must include in the beach bag’ summer read! I look forward to reading some of the author's earlier titles (and certainly her next novel). Congratulations Ms. Porter! Well done.
Quill says: This is a story with depth in that it has great pace and solid plot - the perfect formula for a good read!