The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-a Love Story

Image of The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--a Love Story
Release Date: 
February 13, 2012
William Morrow Paperbacks
Reviewed by: 

Some girls have all the luck.

Ree Drummond’s depiction of her cowboy husband in The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels would make any female swoon. He is quite literally the perfect man, and yet totally believable in the role. Despite his wife’s glowing characterization, the affectionately dubbed “Marlboro Man” still manages to come across as authentic and utterly likable. What seems to be a personality that is too good to be true is actually the genuine nature of a decent, respectable guy.

Ms. Drummond is more critical of her own faults and shortcomings. She grew up as an American princess. Her backyard was the golf course of a country club. Her wardrobe was filled with designer clothes. When she moved back home after a break-up, she didn’t have to worry about finding a job right away in order to support herself. Not to say that her life was completely devoid of anxiety, but she lived a life that was secure and protected. Her plan was to pick herself up, dust herself off, and head to Chicago for a life filled with excitement and culture.

That is until she met Marlboro Man.

The two begin to form an intimate relationship that can rightly be called a courtship. On most evenings, Marlboro Man drives Ree to his ranch in his pickup truck where they spend the time cooking dinner, watching movies, and snuggling on the front porch under the stars. Ever the gentleman, Marlboro Man doesn’t push things farther than long make-out sessions on his couch and makes sure Ree makes it home safely every night—but not before calling to wish her a good night in the deep baritone voice that never fails to send shivers down Ree’s spine.

If Marlboro Man has an agenda, it is to make Ree his wife. Though not necessarily reluctant to spend the rest of her life with the man of her dreams, she begins to question her suitability in regards to his rural lifestyle. The quiet. The isolation. The manure. Can she really give up everything she’s ever known and planned for in order to adapt to the rugged, physical existence of life on the farm?

The beauty of the narrative lies in Ree’s transformation. She was always a good-hearted person—having patience with her special needs brother, trying to be there for both of her parents as they go through a painful divorce—but she grows beyond the boundaries of her suburban mindset. It is as if she experiences a reawakening about what is really important in life versus what is just meaningless excess. The pure, unconditional love of Marlboro Man opens her eyes to a whole new host of possibilities now before her. It is beautiful to walk along with Ree as she undergoes this transformation.

While in many ways a modern day fairy tale, the book is not all fluff. After their wedding, the couple comes to experience several back-to-back hardships that test their mettle right off the bat. Things do not begin to run as smoothly as during their dating days, but they come to rely on and support each other in a conjoined effort to face head-on whatever comes their way.

One wonders how the quiet, reserved Marlboro Man feels about having his private moments with Ree captured in print for all to read. Does he truly feel comfortable sharing such intimate details with the world?

However, he will no doubt feel the gratitude of every woman who picks up the book thanking God that a man like him truly exists.

Overall, women the world over will swoon for Ree Drummond’s Marlboro Man.