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This Fine Life: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The coauthor of the "Potluck Club" series has written a wonderful coming-of-age story that deals with the themes of friendship, first loves, and forgiveness. - Library Journal --Library Journal

From the Back Cover

"This Fine Life proves that growing into love can rip one apart, quitting might be the easiest thing, but walking away is out of the question. I bled with these characters as they struggled to become who they were meant to be. So real and so true to life."--Lauraine Snelling, author, Daughters of Blessing series

It is the summer of 1959 and Mariette Puttnam has just graduated from boarding school. When she returns to her privileged life at home, she isn't sure where life will take her. More schooling? A job? Marriage? Nothing feels right. How could she know that she would find the answer waiting for her in the narrow stairwell of her father's apparel factory, exactly between the third and fourth floors?

In this unique and tender romance, popular author Eva Marie Everson takes you on a journey through the heart of a young woman bound for the unknown. Discover the joys of new love, the perseverance of deep friendship, and the gift of forgiveness that comes from a truly fine life.

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker, a popular radio personality, and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken. She is coauthor of the Potluck Club series and the Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Florida.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080073274X
  • ASIN: B004EYUG0M
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,184,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm going to skip the plot synopsis type of review, and just give my impressions.

My problem with the book wasn't so much the writing, or the religious overtones as the "sucker punch" at the end of the book - at least for me. The foreshadowing in the form of the first few pages seems to indicate a woman on the precipice of taking control of her life - a life dominated by her parents and then husband's desires and wishes. She doesn't know what she wants in life, and we are led to believe she will find her dream, her passion (which seemed to be a talent for home decor - given her family's business, this would've been a natural tie-in), her something.

Instead, she finds a way to continue to subvert whatever her own dreams may have been and bundle them neatly into what everyone expects her to be. There is no surprise here, no revelation (ha), no self-discovery or growth - the only concession to Mariette being a person in her own right with her own likes and dislikes is when her husband teases her in front of his congregation about not being able to fry a chicken (the crowd laughs and jibes back that she will provide deviled eggs - I was left with a "well, THANKS, hon" feeling there). She is a woman who seeks a happy ending (much as readers will, I suppose) at the expense of ever determining who is at the center of Mariette. Given the time-frame (and her father's interest in seeing her continue her education) I believe the author missed an opportunity to explore what was happening in the world at the time and how it would define and challenge a young wife who's been pulled into her husband's orbit while struggling also to find her relationship with God.
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Format: Paperback
I first picked this one up and had a hard time getting into it. Rather than writing it off or forcing myself to read it, I did a preview instead of a review and set it aside for awhile. I'm glad I picked it up again.

Mariette marries the man of her dreams, a man her parents don't approve of, but one with hopes and plans for a future. When Thayne's future turns out to be one that Mariette never dreamed of, she perseveres and ultimately finds herself and finds God.

I enjoyed the southern, late 50's early 60's setting, and appreciated that Mariette's parents were so supportive and encouraging. This Fine Life was an absorbing story of one young woman's life and how it doesn't always go according to plan. However, like many of us, Mariette discovers that even the unexpected life can be fine and fulfilling.
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Format: Paperback
For the first few chapters I thought this was just a love story between two very young adults. I wasn't too far into the book when I realized it was so much more. The story of Mariette and Thayne grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. I loved every page of this tender story of growing up and facing the reality of the choices made. I find myself still thinking of Thayne and Mariette long after I've finished the last page.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I wanted to give it 2 stars but since I don't usually read this genre and I don't remember the 60's I figured perhaps I was being too harsh. I enjoyed the style of writing and Mariette and her family but I knew so little about Thayne, what he was thinking and why she was so in love with him. Was I meant to like him, dislike him or was he an insignifcant part of the real story? Although the ending seemed happy I felt sorry for Mariette.
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