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 the answer is waiting for her within the narrow stairwell of her father’s apparel factory, exactly between the third and fourth floors? In this unique and tender story of an unlikely romance, popular author Eva Marie Everson takes readers on a journey through the heart of a young woman bound for the unknown. Readers will experience the joys of new love, the perseverance of true friendship, and the gift of forgiveness that comes from a truly fine life.
My Review: This book hits very close to home, with the exception of my growing up years. Mariette grew up in a wealthy family with high expectations for her future. I grew up in a blue-collar family with no special expectations for my future. Both of us were protected from most of the ugliness of life by our parents. The setting was in the early 1960’s and I was growing up at that time. The similarities begin with us both marrying young and our husbands going through seminary (in my case Bible college) and then the ministry. We both began in very small towns – Mariette and Thayne in Georgia and my husband and I in Iowa. Each town had less than 500 people.
Needless to say, I loved this book. Ms. Everson captured the feelings of a new pastor’s wife so well! I wasn’t sure if Mariette was even a Christian, but she was super flexible and had a real love for people. I never felt “called” to ministry either, but tried to honor what my husband felt God wanted us to do. Living in a small town as described is very difficult. Probably another significant difference between the characters and us was in communication. Although I have known men like Thayne who talk to everyone else about important decisions and THEN to his wife, my husband is nothing like that, that is he talked through almost every decision with me and also considered my opinion. However, Mariette had a great attitude whereas I would find this very difficult.
The book has a very realistic view of early family years in the parsonage. While reading, I was reminded again and again of my early marriage and my husband’s first few years as a pastor. Included in the story are the ups and downs, the joys, and the hard stands a pastor has to take. I enjoyed this book a great deal – the subject matter, the setting, the characters and the way the story was put together. For a different view of this story, from a preacher’s kid, yet still a great review go visit my daughter’s blog at myfriendamysblog.com.