Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson

Mariette Puttnam is a young girl in 1960 with her whole life ahead of her. She's had many privileges in her life and her father hopes she'll go to college, while her mother dreams she'll become a fine society lady. Mariette isn't thrilled with either choice and isn't sure what she wants from her life until she meets Thayne Scott. Thayne and Mariette fall HARD for each other and quickly elope when it becomes apparent that Mariette's parents don't support the relationship. Getting married so quickly and so young certainly has its effect on them and life offers many struggles....especially when Thayne feels passionately about entering the ministry and Mariette feels indifferently about God.

I picked up This Fine Life when I didn't have my current read with me and could not put it down until I'd finished it, I absolutely loved it. For some reason, I really love reading stories about women whose lives are so greatly impacted by the callings of their husbands. Thayne did a lot of stuff I would have found unforgiveable, and yet Mariette always found a way to make it work. I loved her as a character, she wasn't perfect, but she wasn't afraid to to be who she was. Her struggles with what was expected of her as a pastor's wife were so authentic. I also found her faith search to be heart wrenchingly wasn't that she didn't want to believe, she just didn't get it. I appreciated that there was no conversion scene, and I really loved the way her friend Missy talked to her. Missy never talked down to her, but always sought to understand what Mariette was feeling and thinking.

Additionally, Everson creates a delightful cast of characters in the town of Logan's Creek and really brings to life that small town feel. And the humor is absolutely charming, such as when Mariette is tempted to tell a towns person she has a hard time calling a man she's seen naked, Reverend.

I really liked Thayne, too, even if he had communication problems. I feel he's a good representation of a man called to ministry...a job constantly torn between love for other people and taking care of your own family. Such realistic portrayal of clergy is hard to come by in fiction, and so I always appreciate it when I find it.

In the beginning of the book, Mariette says it's Thayne's story. But I disagree. I think the book is very much Mariette's story, and that she's a fantastic example of the many strong women who partner with their husbands to fulfill their calling. I've had the privilege of knowing and being close to many of them in real life.

Ultimately, this book was the ultimate in a feel good read. I read it in the span of just a few hours, I loved the characters, I was engaged by their stories, I cried a little in that deeply emotionally satisfying way. I loved it.

Rating: 4.75/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Christian fiction
Source of Book: Received from publisher for review
Publisher: Revell (Baker Books)


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