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Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: Part One…

March 23, 2011

Book club is back at it again and this time we are reading  The Pioneer Woman’s new book called Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. It is basically the love story between her self and her husband “Marlboro Man”. I am a big fan of her blog so reading her story has been really fun. I always think it’s interesting to see why people ended up in certain places in their lives and this is a great example of that!

All in all I am really enjoying this book. I got it on CD since I knew we’d be doing so much driving with the moves and it has been great at distracting me from the time on the highway. Ree is the actual reader of the CDs which makes it really cute, I think I am getting a lot of emotion of it that I wouldn’t have gotten through just reading it.

And maybe it’s her writing style but she gets a little wordy, no? Sometimes I just want to yell “FINISH THE THE DAMN STORY REE” but it’s normally another 5 minutes before she does. Albie even listened to a big chunk with me and had the same frustration.

This week the book club asked for some questions from the members and they came up with some really good ones:

From Rachel:

  • Has this book brought you back to the beginning of a romantic relationship in your life?

I think this book is interesting to me since I never really dated outside of dating Albie. I did some “middle school” type dating but nothing while I was an adult to me, the beginning stages of adult relationships are interesting.

From Erin:

  • What surprised you about Ree? If this was your first time reading about her background, did anything surprise you about her “beginnings?”

I have read her blog for a while but never really went back into her “beginnings”.  I guess I am surprised she is from Oklahoma since my impression had been that being in one of the “fly over states” was a new thing for her. I think I thought she was from LA.

From Nina:

  • While reading Part I of Black Heels, did you find yourself comparing your own love life/story to Ree’s?

I compared my story with hers because of how quickly she thought she loved him. Albie and I started dating at 16 and I think I knew I loved him within 3 months.

  • Would you have handled ex-boyfriend (J) the same way or differently than Ree did?

The ex boyfriend thing baffles me. I guess I would have thought the same way Ree did. She thought she handled it without so much saying “we’re over”. But I can totally see where J got the wrong impression and just thought they were growing apart. I wonder if he dated as much as she did during that time.

  • Have you ever made a life-changing decision based on a guy in your life? And how did it work out for you?

I definitely decided to go to college in Raleigh because that’s where Albie was. He was attending my first choice and when  I didn’t get in so I based my next options on distance from him. Luckily everything near by were great options and it led to a lot interesting experiences for my self.

Normally I would say that it’s stupid for someone to make a life changing decision based on a guy but that would make me a hypocrite. I do however think that in every relationship there needs to be some give and take and sometimes the other person might push you just enough into something great.

From Stephanie:

  • How do you think Ree’s family felt that she was just going to give up going to Chicago for a guy she had just met?

I would think they all probably reacted the same way her brother in Chicago did. I mean why would an educated woman just decided to stay in Oklahoma with no job for a man. I was a bit perplexed on why no one in her family asked her to contribute more then driving Mike tot he mall occasionally. Not that there’s anything wrong with taking a break, but we’re talking months without any kind of job it seemed like.

From Rocky Mountain Wife:

  • If you were Ree and started to question your life plan (leaving Cali, moving to Chicago, being independent for a while)…how would you feel when this sudden romance came into your life at the ‘wrong’ time?

I’m not sure how I would feel other then confused! I think it’s interesting how quickly everything changed for her and how open she was to the change. I know she had some struggles with adjusting but it was still a relatively quick time for all that change.

From Meghan:

  • How do you think the situation with Ree’s parents affected her relationship with Marlboro Man? (Or do think it did not affect her?)

I think it made her want someone to cling to. It made her want some stability whether she realizes it or not.

  • Have you ever felt an instant connection with someone? How did it turn out?

I used to eye Albie in the cafeteria in High School and I just wanted to meet him so much – from there we met and started dating that same semester. I’m not sure it would be described as “instant” but it was definitely quick and lasting.

  • What made you relate to Ree? In what ways could you not relate to her?

I think I relate to the way Ree is experiencing everything for the first time and the way she was brought up. I also very much relate to the way she is going through her parents divorce. I can not relate to the way she doesn’t seem to work or have a career path at this point in the story – I think I just need to be busy and needed.

From Meredith:

  • I love all the details of Ree’s cooking for Marlboro Man in the early stages of their relationship. Have you ever made anything for the guy in your life that was just an utter disaster? Did he choke it down anyway?

I loved this too!! I actually found Ree’s website through her recipes and then thought she was really funny so I kept reading. I have since gotten her cookbook and have tried many recipes from it and unfortunately these have been a lot of my disasters.  Her Whiskey cream sauce did not turn out good at all for example…but I think maybe it’s the way she includes a million pictures of her chopping onions that throws me off and makes me miss steps – oops!

From Amber:

  • How much of Ree’s book do you think is truth or fiction? How much did she embellish? Do you think she omitted or added anything? Obviously she couldn’t get EVERYTHING that happened during this period of her life in the book, but I kept wondering what was left out and if some of the stuff she was writing was built up just a teensy tiny bit.

I can’t decide… I think she is leaving out stuff about her self to keep the love story the focus and not make it a biography. I also think the fact she omit’s Marlboro Man’s real name drives me batty!!! Did she call him that to his face when they were dating? I doubt it! (It’s Ladd by the way- I looked it up!)

I also think the leaving out of “financial matters” is interesting. I mean clearly she grew up with a stable background and he does all right for him self but there is never any talk of money! I am way past Part 1 and it still is barely being brought up … but maybe that’s just my curiosity talking?

I’ll be back next week with Part 2!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 4:40 pm

    I can’t help but think how she is keeping afloat either! Maybe its because we have both been jobless not by choice, but really girlfriend get a J-O-B!

    I like how you tell her to get to the point. Sometimes when I see how many pages are left in the chapter, I take a sigh.

  2. March 23, 2011 5:12 pm

    Good point about leaving out financial matters…yes, she clearly comes from a good background. And, I want to know Marlboro Man’s name, too!

  3. March 23, 2011 9:36 pm

    I wanted to know his name too! It’s funny you bring up the financial part, because I googled Pioneer Woman the other day (to find the date of the Paula Deen episode she’s going to be on) and found this “I hate Pioneer Woman” website, I was curious as to why somebody would hate her so much that they’d set up a website, so I looked at it and apparently Marlboro Man is a millionaire!? I don’t know if it’s true, but the website claimed that they were both very wealthy before she hit it big and they’re mad that she claims to be just a typical, country wife when they’re so well off. So, this has nothing really to do with the book and was a bit wordy–sorry, but I thought it was so interesting.


  1. Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: Part Two… « Oui, Bien Sur!
  2. Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: Part 3… « Oui, Bien Sur!

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