This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson, published by Revell, copyright 2010, is a top-notch, five-star novel comparable to Lynn Austin's All She Ever Wanted. It's my favorite novel by the author. Last year's Things Left Unspoken was a great Southern novel, but this one outshines it.
Mariette Puttnam graduates boarding school in 1959 used to a privileged life, unsure of plans for her future. She figures she'll enjoy her summer and decide if she should opt for a career and more schooling to please her father, or marry into the right social family to make her mother happy. None of those options feel right. Something's missing, and she finds him, Thayne Scott, working as a mail clerk in her father's factory. They fall in love and can't bear to be apart, though her mother and father forbid the relationship.
Though she's attended church all her life, Mariette lacks a personal relationship with God, but Thayne talks to Him in his church in the woods and decides to go into ministry. Mariette always feels she's "on the outside looking in" and doesn't really belong. She can't bake pies and fry chicken, which seem to be main requirements for a preacher's wife. She can't answer Thayne's question about where she stands with God; yet, she's supposed to be a preacher's wife.
Through the hardships of his first ministry, Thayne promises her he'll be able to provide her a fine life one day. But, she must endure snobby busybodies in the small town where he receives his first assignment, and they can't even have a husband and wife disagreement in private.
Journey with a young woman destined to become a preacher's wife, as she endures the loss of her firstborn, a daughter they name Rachel, and her second birth of a son named Gabe, when she learns how to talk to God in earnest. Discover the joys of a simple life with her. When she moves into their first real home, a guest cottage for the small-town preacher, Mariette throws herself into making the place a home and redecorates until she depletes the bank account. She moves to Logan's Creek and hates the place, where she has no friends or family, and no television or phone until her mother sends someone to install one and gifts them with a color set for Christmas. Still, they can't enjoy the present because they can't afford an antenna.
This is the story of a young woman who grows, develops a personal relatonship with God through her struggles, and matures during her small-town journey as she finds ways to keep herself busy in a town so tiny it doesn't even have a library. She devours books and must depend on her mother to keep her stocked. When her husband is offered his second assignment, they have an opportunity to have the fine life he promised her in the form of a two-story brick home with five bedrooms and three baths, and she can finally escape Logan's Creek. Which life will they choose? Will it be the true fine life? Can Mariette ever really make a preacher's wife, or will she remain one in name only?
If you love Southern novels, you'll find this one awesome. I didn't want to put it down. Eva Marie Everson evokes feelings as she tugs at a reader's heart and mind. I laughed, and I cried, both requirements of a five-star novel. If the book doesn't make me feel for the characters, it hasn't accomplished its goal, and it's not for me. I love character-driven Southern novels like this one. Grab it today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. You'll be glad you did. Sip sweet tea and taste this novel. Don't think I've told you everything; I saved the best twists and surprises for your own journey. This novel is realistic because the characters are so real-to-life.
About the Author: Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning author, writing mentor for the Christian Writers Guild, and a popular and gifted speaker and radio personality.
Visit Eva at her beautiful, inspiring Website http://www.evamarieeverson.com/ or her blog at http://evamarieeverson.blogspot.com/.