[This review is based on the hardcover edition published by the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in 2011.]
Here’s the deal:
Ree Drummond, a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, says it herself in the introduction to her book: she began writing her love story, put it away, and brought it out again when she developed writer’s block while working on her blog. She finished the first chapter of the book and posted it on her site; the response was overwhelmingly positive, so she started writing and posting more chapters. Soon after, she realized that she could write an entire book, and Black Heels to Tractor Wheels was born! The story begins when Ree returns home to Oklahoma after graduating from USC on a self-imposed “pit stop”. She has just come to the realization that she wants out of her four-year-old relationship with “J” when she goes to a bar with friends and comes face to face with Ladd (whom she adorably refers to as “Marlboro Man” throughout the book, due to his resemblance to the cigarette ad cowboy). Her world is turned upside down, she falls in love, and the head-over-heels romance ensues.
The book is exactly as advertised — a full-length, anecdote-laden romance novel. What I didn’t expect was for it to be so funny! The title implies a “fish out of water”-type tale, and it certainly is; for a city girl like Ree, getting married and moving onto a working ranch in the middle of nowhere provides the perfect backdrop for some humorous situations. One particularly stand-out example occurs when Ladd’s brother, Tim, plays a hilariously cruel joke on her. They gather cattle for sorting and pregnancy testing (or “preg-testing”), and Ree is assigned the job of pushing a thermometer up each cow’s rear while Tim branded it. Little did she know that thermometer + brand = poop. Eighty steers later, she was covered in crap…but she passed her initiation! My grown-up side was completely grossed out, while my inner grade-schooler was dying of laughter.
During the course of the book, we’re along for the ride with Ree as she hones her cooking skills, gets married, falls ill on her honeymoon (twice!), and carries and delivers her first child. Through it all, Ree makes it clear that she and Marlboro Man are completely besotted with each other and that they are going to make sure that their relationship is successful. Reading about how much they love each other is sweet and inspiring!
The only issue I had with this book, initially, was the lack of discussion about how she started her blog and got into photography. After finishing the book, I Googled her and discovered that she started The Pioneer Woman in 2006, while her oldest child was born well before then. Since the book ends shortly after her elder daughter is born, she wouldn’t be discussing blogging, would she? Nope. Maybe that’ll be another book…or short story…or blog post.
So would I recommend this book?
Yup! Especially if you’re a fan of Ree, like I am, I think you’ll enjoy Black Heels to Tractor Wheels!
Hey, guess what??
I’m doing my very first GIVEAWAY!!!!
I like this book a lot, and I really want to share it with you! Enter to win a copy of Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by using the widget below. You have until November 10 to get your entries in, at which time a winner will be randomly selected and notified by me. The more entries you submit, the better your chance of winning the giveaway! Good luck!