Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remember the Sixties?

Reviewed by Phee Paradise

This Fine Life
By Eva Marie Everson

In This Fine Life, narrator Marriette Scott tells her readers that this is her husband’s story. She relates how they met and married, and how he became a preacher. In spite of her assurance, the book describes her feelings about him and the life they create together. She is passionately in love, but doesn’t understand his passion for God. She’s scared of becoming a preacher’s wife because she doesn’t know how to be one. There is a tension within Mariette that will made it hard for me to put the book down. There is also a hint in the prologue that kept me reading to see what would happen to Thayne, her husband.

The story is set in the late sixties, and Everson’s historical details are exceptional. Her descriptions of clothing and hairstyles, settings and language ring true to anyone who lived then. The relationships are the most impressive example of this. It’s hard now to grasp how different marriages were 40 years ago. Christian wives today may acknowledge that our husbands are the heads of our families and that God wants us to submit to them, but that means something different to us than it did before women’s lib. Marriette marries a man who becomes a preacher. Thayne loves God, his wife and his calling, but he makes life changing decisions without consulting her and then expects her to be happy about them. It’s enough to make me want to shake him. And yet, he is loved by everyone, including his wife.

As the story developed, I came to understand why it was Thayne’s story. The situation he encounters doesn’t appear until the end, but the climax will give you something to think about for a while. The solution is typical of the sixties and would be different if it were to occur today. But it is just what it should be, and helps Mariette resolve her dilemma about being a preacher’s wife.

I loved this book and I know that you will too. I looked forward to reading it because I liked Everson’s last book, Things Left Unspoken, and it did not disappoint.

Pros: Historically accurate account of life in the sixties, with compelling characters, some humor and a very moving dramatic conclusion.

Cons: Much of the book is a day to day narrative of a woman’s life and may not appeal to everyone.

Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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