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4 Stars Out Of 5
This Fine Life - Eva Marie Everson (3.5-4 Stars)
March 17, 2015
Ms. Everson begins her story in 1959, extending it well into the 1960s. Starting the story out of order, the chronological beginning of the book begins following Mariette Puttnams graduation from boarding school. While her friends attended the local high school, Mariette contends with the life of privilege made possible by her father's manufacturing company and her mother's social climbing. When she meets one of her father's employees and marries him, she encounters a different world from the one she has previously known. Rather than debating between college or a job, she faces a world of entirely different possibilities when her husband gives everything up to go to seminary. Over the years, Mariette contends with what it means to be the "pastor's wife," while struggling to understand her husband's faith.
Ms. Everson examines the fascinating challenges of a young wife learning how to work alongside her husband, while also struggling to understand what drives him as a Christian. The book remains true to the period and circumstances of the characters, including the struggle of Mariette's parents to balance their own views with the needs of their daughter and her husband. The biggest weakness of this book comes from the summary included on the back of the novel, which only covers the issues of the first several chapters. While not giving a "false" impression of the book, I felt that it significantly undersold the book and likely resulted in many people either reading or avoiding the book without understanding what they were going to find inside.
Overall, I thought that This Fine Life was an interesting read, as it reminded me of several characters and themes present in many of Janette Oke's books set in a different period and place.
This story caught my interest right away. The characters were interesting but the storyline was somewhat predictable. I appreciate the author's treatment of how the main character struggles to understand a relationship with God.
It took me probably half the book to start getting caught up in the story line. I nearly put it aside a couple of times in the earlier stages as it seemed juvenile - reasonable, I guess, as it was written about a very young couple who fell in love. But eventually I found myself getting much more interested and finished the rest of the book happily enough.