Award-winning Bellevue author of modern lit, Jane Porter has added another layer of inner strength to readers who will read her newest novel, “Mrs. Perfect.”
Porter, a single mom who lives in Bellevue with her two sons, says she loves a story with a happy ending. “Mrs. Perfect” goes one step further and leaves women feeling triumphant, she says.
“Mrs. Perfect” is about a successful mother with three gorgeous children and a decorated dream house in Bellevue. A devastating secret begins to reveal the fragile woman she is beneath her polished image and starts to strip her of the roles that have defined her.
The Reporter chatted with Porter about her book and what message it holds for readers.
Reporter: Who is “Mrs. Perfect”?
Porter: A woman who feels she’s made it in life. She’s very successful and all of a sudden the carpet gets pulled from beneath her feet and everything she thinks is real, isn’t.
Reporter: What message does the book carry for women especially?
Porter: Ultimately, our possessions do not define us: Our wardrobe, car, house. We define ourselves socioeconomically, whether we shop at Bellevue Square. Sometimes women think our image and other things are important to how the world perceives us and that can a bit of a crutch and in the end hurtful for us. We need to make sure we know who we are on the inside, not just worry about outside packaging.
Reporter: Many of your books are set in Bellevue. How does the city play a role in “Mrs. Perfect”?
Porter: Bellevue Square and the side of Bellevue I like to call the ‘Kemper Freeman neighborhood’ is very pretty. Very groomed. Look at the library, the public gardens, the architecture. Everything is so new in downtown Bellevue and very clean, refurbished. Homes are constantly being torn down and built back up.
There’s this feeling of luxury that in some ways contributes to women feeling like they have to project the same kind of polished look. There’s a certain way of how we want the world to see us and we want to be perceived as being polished, educated and sophisticated. There’s this keep-up-with-the-Jones pressure and in that respect Bellevue plays a big role in the book.
Reporter: What other factors contribute to the way many women feel about themselves, as you have written about in your books?
Porter: A lot of people that read “Odd Mom Out” have said it is very hard to be groomed, to be attractive, to be successful and yet so many women are juggling many balls all the time. I talk about successful women who don’t want to appear like they ever need help and think they need to do it all. It can be very isolating.
I know few women who would say we’re having a hard time – that’s showing weakness. Many of us don’t have a lot of aunts or grandmothers around that we can ask, ‘How did you get through it?” We’re afraid to talk about relationship issues, finances, self-esteem, emotional issues or we are going through depression or post partum depression and we don’t know how to open up.
In the end, we try to suck it up and make it all OK, but sometimes it’s not OK.
Reporter: Tell us about your upcoming movie that will show on Lifetime.
Porter: I was just on the set on Waikiki beach in Hawaii last week and got to play as a beach extra in my movie. I met the actors and even got a picture with actress Heather Locklear. It was really nice. They wanted to hear all about my book and if it differed from the script and wanted to know what I thought of the scenes. I told them what I’ll tell you: it’s great. It’s going to be such a fun holiday movie.
Carrie Wood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-453-4290.