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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

She's Gone Country

1. In Chapter 1 we meet Shey’s mother. How does knowing about her relationship with her mother give insight into the inner battle that wars inside Shey’s head --- the battle between Shey’s former young-girl self and the woman she wants to be?

2. How do Shey’s three sons factor into that battle? How does Shey feel about being a mother? Do you think Shey is using her boys and her “duties” as a mother to shield herself from moving forward?

3. We find out that Shey’s husband is no longer in love with her and is having an affair with a man. Do you agree or disagree with Shey’s statement, “…I can compete with another woman, but how on earth do I compete with a man for my husband’s affections?”

4. How are Shey’s deceased brother, Cody, and her son, Bo, alike? Their “condition” affects the relationships of many characters in the story. Shey tries to reassure herself by saying, “Bo isn’t crazy. Bo isn’t like my brother Cody. Bo is going to be okay.” Do you believe her? In your opinion does Shey’s response to her son help or hurt him?

5. Dane Kelly, who Shey hasn’t seen since high school, was the love of her life until she was sent away to boarding school. Do you think her immediate strong feelings for Dane are normal or a “rebound” reaction to the recent split with her husband?

6. Many women think about their first love. Do you have a “Dane” you wonder about now and then? What would you do if you ran into him?

7. Shey drops in on her sister-in-law, Emily, in the morning and smells vodka on her breath. What were your first thoughts about Emily and her picture-perfect life? What were your thoughts after finding out that she might have a drinking problem?

8. After Dane brings Bo home when he sees him walking along side the road after a fight, Brick has a man-to-man chat with him telling him, “… go for the nose. Draw first blood. It’s the only way to win a fight.” Do you agree with this advice from his uncle? Who do you think gives the boys the best advice, Shey or the “men of the village?”

9. Shey is surrounded by men in her life --- her brothers, her three sons, her ex-husband, and her ex-love Dane. What does this say about men and their place in a woman’s life? How do they all affect Shey’s world?

10. Do you agree with the saying that “blood is thicker than water?” Do you think Brick should have given up his friendship with Dane to support his brother, Blue?

11. Cooper wants to be a bull rider and take lessons from Dane Kelly, three-time national bull riding champ, but Shey is uncomfortable with that. Why? What outside influences are affecting her decision?

12. Shey finds out that Dane’s son died and that opens her eyes to understand Dane better. How did this vital piece of information change their relationship?

13. Shey is home alone on Thanksgiving night and someone breaks into her house. She calls Dane and he takes her back to his house until she’s safe. What does Shey find out about Dane during her time with him after the break-in?

14. Hank doesn’t return to Texas after spending Thanksgiving with his dad; her soon-to-be-ex-husband is demanding that Cooper stop his bull riding lessons with Dane; and Bo is being bullied at school by his classmates. This is almost more than Shey can handle. How does having a strong support system, whether it be family or friends, help people survive the toughest of times?

15. Dane brings gifts for Shey and her family to put under the Christmas tree. What gift does Shey share with Dane? How does he respond? What are your thoughts about the ending of the story?

16. How difficult was it for Shey to move back home? What are the issues and difficulties that can arise from returning to the place where you grew up? What are good reasons for going back home?

She's Gone Country
by Jane Porter

  • Publication Date: August 23, 2010
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot
  • ISBN-10: 0446509418
  • ISBN-13: 9780446509411