This is a cute romance/memoir that starts out going about as you’d expect it to go and adds a little more depth to the end. City slicker meets cowboy, falls in love, and struggles to adapt to life in the country.
Based on the cover and the back flap, you’d expect it to start quite quickly with Jesse meeting and marrying Jake, and the rest of the book leading towards the climax. In these types of “fish out of water” stories, the heroine will usually either eventually prove to her friends that she’s a country girl now, or she teaches the country folk about the wisdom of the city.
But since this is a memoir, rather than fiction, it veers slightly from the standard formula. Jesse doesn’t marry Jake until maybe halfway through the book. It does deal with her exploits in chicken farming, canning, bible group, etc. It also deals with her culture shock, and the identity crisis that comes from trying to be someone you’re not.
I liked this book. I found it entertaining and charming, and while originally neither Jesse nor Jake seemed like the kind of people I’d like as friends, they started to grow on me. Knadler added just enough deep insight to make this more than just a fun story, and sparked some introspection about what it means to have an identity.
My only minor complaint is the cover. It is photoshopped into the uncanny valley, which baffles me, as surely this would be an easy photo to stage.