Mariette Puttman graduated from boarding school in 1959 and headed home to—what? Her mother believes she should be married off to the first eligible bachelor, and her father says this is a different age. Mariette can go to college, or get a career, or do whatever she wants. But unfortunately, Mariette isn’t sure what she wants.
When her daddy invites her to join her for lunch, Mariette is thrilled to agree, but she expects that her dad will want to talk to her about her future plans. He dreams of Mariette going to college, getting a degree, and then going to work for him.
Who would have dreamed that she discovers the answer waiting for her in the narrow stairwell of her father’s apparel factory exactly between the third and fourth floors?
This Fine Life does start pretty slow, but it piques my interest when Mariette is on that staircase. At that point I had to keep reading to see what would happen next. The story is written in first person, making it very easy to relate to Mariette, but the prologue is set about five years in the future (from 1959) so you know ultimately how at least part of the story will end. Sort of. The prologue does leave unanswered questions which will be addressed toward the end of the book.
This Fine Life is divided up into parts, with each of the story taking places during a different stage of Mariette’s life, so the story doesn’t really flow smoothly. Still it is an interesting story. The story is promoted as a contemporary romance, and it is, in a way, but I see it as very much women’s fiction. I have read books that Ms. Everson has co-authored, but this is the first book I’ve read with her as the only author. I recommend it as a tender story that will stay with you.