Christian fiction

Book & Cover Review of "This Fine Life" by Eva Marie Everson

This Fine Life: A Novel

Book Review

Author Eva Marie Everson has found her niche’ in the Christian southern fiction genre.  Although in every respect a story of it’s own, the southern flair present in her earlier book Things Left Unspoken has been further polished and refined in This Fine Life. This Fine Life is a charming accounting of how one encounter with a young man named Thayne Scott, an employee at her father’s manufacturing company, forever alters the life of a young woman named Mariette Puttnam. 

Mariette is at a cross-roads.  Mama and others in her life believe that now that her boarding school days are behind her she should settle in and concentrate on finding a husband.  On the other hand, there is the lure of college and doing more with her life; her father’s wish.  Faced with the option of making one parent happy while disappointing the other – in steps Thayne … The attraction to Thayne proves stronger than the opposition of her family – so she neither marries well, nor attends college – equally disappointing both parents.

There are two things I loved about this book, one being that Mariette’s parents could have done the over-the-top drama of disowning their daughter for not only seeing a boy they didn’t approve of, but marrying him with no support from them.  Instead her parents buck up and support their daughter and her husband in every way they can that is not a complete hand out.  This depiction of parental love is more accurate than most novels I have read recently and I found it very endearing.  The second thing I loved was that this is eventually a story about a young couple who are not only mismatched economically, but mismatched in their spiritual walk.  Mariette’s faith is not very deep, but her husband’s is and he decides to join the ministry.

I had never before thought of the struggles of a pastor in his first year’s of ministry – let alone that of his wife.  And if I had thought about it, I still would have assumed that the wife would share similar spiritual goals with her husband.  It would be too hard not to …

Mariette indeed struggles to find her place in the new life her husband has created for them, slowly building a strong faith of her own – and a deep love for the people of the small community they have become a part of.  The hard-nosed, close-knit characters in this small community were not easily won over, but the winning was worth the effort.

This book provides a great glimpse into the life of a mismatched pair during their first years as husband and wife, and as a ministry team.  Worth reading, and at times entertainingly funny.

Book Cover Review
I think this cover is beautifully done.  A young Mariette stands poised and pondering over her future, while attired as though ready for a southern garden party or other semi-formal event (complete with white gloves and pearls.)  The satiny dress material and upswept hair exude refinement and good breading.  The wallpaper, flowers and furniture that are also in the photo help to define the setting and also enhance the feeling of femininity and class.  The only negative I had with the cover, and this is being a bit picky, is in regards to the color choices used in the title text.  Mainly, I feel the F in Fine should have been white along with the rest of the word to give it unity.  At first glance the letters INE stand out the most because they are starkly white and all of the other letters are a light lemon-yellow hue.  A small detail to be sure, but the only thing I would have changed.  I believe this book’s audience to be largely women and feel this cover would draw them in quite well.  Well done!

Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A copy of this book was provided for review by the publisher.

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