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Review: The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels and Tractor Wheels

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
by Ree Drummond


The Pioneer Woman is one of those blogs that I don’t read regularly, but I’ll pop in a couple times a year, look around and think, “Gee, this is a fun blog. Why don’t I read it more often?” And I don’t have a good answer for that, except that the site has evolved so much over the years that I feel a little overwhelmed trying to navigate it.

But when I heard that a book had been published that covered Ree’s great love story with her cowboy husband, I knew I would have to read it. The humor and the “fish out of water” stories I enjoyed from her blog all conveniently gathered into a novel? Yes, please!

Ree was just your typical city girl on a pit stop in her Midwest hometown, in the process of transferring from Los Angeles to Chicago. Looking to unwind, she popped into the local dive bar and was gobsmacked by the handsomest cowboy she’d ever seen. She christens him “Marlboro Man” and they start going out, even though her move date to Chicago looms ever on the horizon. Marlboro Man sees Ree through the death of her dog – after she inadvertently runs it over – and the impending divorce of her parents, becoming the rock upon which she depends.

Ree has a very breezy style of writing that aims to bring forth all the humor and silliness that comes from a city girl dating a country cowboy. Again and again, I found myself laughing as she said or did something that left her boyfriend (later husband) staring at her in confusion. But there’s a more serious side, too, as Ree examines her life and tries to decide what to do. On the one hand, she loves her Marlboro Man, but marrying him and living out on a ranch is a huge lifestyle change for her. I doubt that I could make that sort of sacrifice for a man, so I could really relate to her struggles as she tried to embrace his daily schedule and priorities.

The first half of the book, which focuses on their courtship and culminates with their wedding, was pulled from a series of blog entries – so to readers her blog the material will already be familiar. The second half, which deals with the first year of their marriage, is all new and while it retains the light-hearted romance novel tone the story gets darker, as Marlboro Man runs into financial trouble and Ree deals with postpartum depression. At the end of the book is a series of recipes, many of which served a prominent role in the preceding chapters.

4 out of 5 stars

To read more about The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.

Tags: ****, 2011, 20th century, 21st century, biography, blogs, cooking, food, marriage, memoirs, non-fiction, r2012, recipes, relationships, romance, united states
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