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Tall Poppies: Forkner’s ‘The Real Thing’ Teaches Profound Truths

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At the beginning of The Real Thing, our plucky heroine Manda is stuck at a wedding—her own—to her rodeo star fiancé. Sure, she’s counting her lucky stars that she’s fallen in love with such a handsome devil, and he with her. But she can’t seem to make it down the aisle. After some shenanigans, and an argument with her soon-to-be stepdaughter, Peyton, the wedding bells finally ring. But don’t wedding bells ring at the end of a book, not the beginning? Doesn’t the “I do” come during the happily ever after? Manda already landed the dashing guy. Isn’t the story over? Not even close. It’s the exploration of the happily ever after that makes The Real Thing so darn real,…

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