This Fine Life, a novel by Eva Marie Everson, opens in the summer of 1959 with young socialite Mariette Puttnam returning home upon graduation from boarding school. Mariette is torn between her mother’s desire that she take her rightful place among the privileged society in which they move in order (and thus find a husband) and her father’s wish that she go to college to prepare to take over the family business. Neither option appeals to Mariette and when she meets a handsome mail clerk she feels as if she has found the answer, never mind that her falling in love with someone of so little means doesn’t exactly fit her parents’ expectations. Mariette marries the young clerk, Thayne, and the novel explores her struggle to understand his faith and his call to be a minister as well as her struggle to find the fine life Thayne promises.
This Fine Life is far more than a boy-meets-girl love story; it is instead the story of fidelity, friendship, and faith across several years. Everson weaves in details of the 50’s and 60’s culture, referencing everything from fashion to music to events like the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. The first part of the novel, while providing important back story, seemed a little stilted, perhaps due to the quick pace sometimes spanning several months in only a few sentences. The latter part of the novel–Mariette and Thayne in their first pastorate in a small Southern town–is where Everson’s storytelling and Southern sensibility shine. I do like a Southern story well told and Everson did not disappoint on that count.
This Fine Life is a tender and poignant book, one that was enjoyable to read.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes…. Lisa thanks Revell publishers, along with author Eva Marie Everson, for the complimentary copy of this book.