Monday, March 07, 2011

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels takes us through the meeting, courtship and marriage of popular “Pioneer Woman” blogger Ree Drummond. I must confess I had never heard of Ree Drummond or her blog previously; but when I saw this book mentioned on Harper Collins’ website, I thought it sounded fun.

Ree has this fabulous way of turning her life story into a spicy Harlequinesque mirror of passion and persistence. Her (then ) suitor and (now )husband whom she calls “Marlboro Man” is a perfect gentleman bred of his family’s Oklahoma cattle ranch. I immediately fell into Ree’s world. Having recently returned from a life of vegetarian cuisine and killer designer jeans in LA, Ree takes a sojourn at her childhood home while planning to move to Chicago to kick-start a career in law. While home, she goes to a bar with some girlfriends and sees the salt-and-pepper-haired Marlboro Man from afar. She boldly approaches him and feels an instant chemistry.

Then, she doesn’t hear from him. For months. Life goes on and Ree solidifies her plans to move to Illinois. But, just as everything clicks into place, Marlboro Man calls and they begin a passionate and incendiary relationship that pulls her from her life of sushi and heels to the red-meated BBQ world of the farm. Here, she learns the ins-and-outs of Marlboro Man’s cattle ranch ( and gives a portrait in fine-tuned, blatant humour), spends hours curled on his couch eating steak and watching action films and falls head over heels in love.

To tell the truth, every female reader who has ever had a penchant for a man clad in levi’s and cowboy boots with a rough-hewed grace will also fall madly in love. Think Josh Lucas in the Reese Witherspoon vehicle, Sweet Home Alabama. What makes the narrative so fascinating is Ree’s complete ownership of her fairytale. She strongly believes she has lived a romance out of a movie and she propels it into colour for you so you, too, will begin the realization of dreams in “real life.” Moreover, she is completely and unabashedly self-deprecating. As sure as she knows that she is colouring you one slant of her dreamy, passionate existence, so she reels you into a world of embarrassing flop sweats, insecurities, and mid-honeymoon vomiting. I enjoyed Ree’s candor and spice for life. As someone who tends to romanticize everything with a graceful sweep of rose-coloured glasses from outstretched hand to brink of nose, I completely understand her willingness to paint her love affair with cinematic scope.This book is delightfully refreshing and focuses on the tender and humorous moments of a great, true-to-life romance.

Any gal who has long given up on finding a cowboy outside of a Paul Newman flick will find it wonderfully exhilarating to read about a normal gal who just happened to lasso a happiness completely removed from the blinders of her poised-and-ready ambition. Moreover, Ree’s story continues on her blog: where you read beyond the courtship and honeymoon to the trials, triumphs and travails of her current role as mother and homeschooler of four children. Ree never sleeps in again.

Ree lives zillions of miles away from Starbucks ( I don’t care what kind of cowboy you are, there are some sacrifices I could never make), Ree gives up fancy heels and fashion design and vegetarianism. Ree is never a size 6 ( her wedding dress) again. Ree has never been happier. What an empowering look and defense at a marriage gone right.

Why pan the shelves of your bookstore for the newest fictional chicklit, when you can easily grab the real thing.


Unknown said...

I so want Ree's life. *sigh* Great review & so happy you've now discovered the wonders of The Pioneer Woman! :)

Unknown said...

I should specify...I want Marlboro Man. :P

Kailana said...

I didn't know anything about this either.