Ellie Sorota's Reviews > The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond
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Feb 06, 12

bookshelves: read-fiction
Read in January, 2012

In the world of not-so-trashy romance novels, Ree Drummond's story of courtship and first year of marriage to smokey "Marlborough Man", as he is called throughout the book, was a bit more dull than I expected. Famous for her blog, The Pioneer Woman, Drummond's cult following put this book in the top of the New York Time's bestseller list as soon as it debuted. Not that it's hard for mediocre books to end up on the NYT list (yet another Evanovich is on there now), but it did make me curious. Disappointingly, the first half of the book was material I'd already read. Drummond self-published this story in serials on her blog. Having read the serials, I assumed the printed edition would be fleshed out and certainly heavily edited. Not so, not so. A problem with blog serials (rather than the print serials of say, Dickens), is the preponderance of words. Not confined to a column of a newspaper, or page of a magazine, the blogger has freedom to go on, and on, and on. (Every mediocre writer seems to think longer is best.) In this case, Drummond begins each chapter of Black Heels to Tractor Wheels with a review of the previous chapter. Helpful if you read the last serial four months ago, completely boring if you're curled up on the couch reading straight through. While her editors probably thought, "Why mess with a guaranteed bestseller," they could have helped the text be more worthy of it's place in a top ten if they'd edited the content flow - no summaries, and a dozen similes does not a paragraph make.
Despite it's general disappointment, the book does deliver a few steamy G-rated moments, to the delight of stay-at-homes everywhere who refuse to read less wholesome - straight to 3x6 - paperbacks. This is a book that reminds us that indeed, there is room between the 3x6 ripping bustiers and 19th c. brushing a finger while you pass a teacup kind of tension. Ree Drummond's honeymoon loving immediately followed by food poisoning wedges itself into that middle ground.
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