Posts Tagged ‘Grace Livingston Hill’

WiW: Engagement Advice

October 3rd, 2011

I have a friend who is in human resources and one of her jobs is to conduct engagement surveys. Her roommate teases that this involves going about to all of her employees and asking them:

“Are you engaged? Are you engaged? Are you planning on becoming engaged?”

I am not engaged (to be married, that is), nor am I planning (er…expecting) to become engaged anytime in the near future.

But I’m all for storing up little bits of engagement advice–and it just so happens that I’ve read some this week.

From Lane Maitland in Grace Livingston Hill’s Maris:

“Yes, that’s what I’m saying,” broke in Merrick. “….That’s why I say marriage is a mess and I hope I never fall in love.”

“Say, you know marriage wasn’t meant to be a mess, and God planned the first marriage to be helpful to both the man and the woman. It wasn’t till the man and woman tried to be independent of God that sin came into the world, and happiness was spoiled. It’s somebody’s fault when marriages go wrong.”

“Oh, is it! And whose fault would it be?”

“Well, people ought to be careful who they pick to fall in love with in the first place. You don’t have to fall in love with everybody you admire. You have to watch yourself. You have to choose the right one. You have to get the one God planned for you.”

“Oh, yeah? And how would you know who that was?…”

“Well, in the first place, if I found I was getting really interested in a girl I’d find out whether she was a real sincere Christian or not…That would be my first step in deciding….In a true marriage both parties would have to qualify, wouldn’t they? It’s only as two people are dominated by the same Spirit, and are surrendered to the same Lord, that they can live together in harmony, isn’t it?”

Such good advice for anyone considering marriage. I think that last bit is so important.

I see so many people who are content to say that the person they are interested in professes Christ. But the Christian man or woman who is looking to marry someone should be concerned that whoever they marry be dominated by and surrendered to the same Lord.

I think that if this condition is met, matters of preferences and temperaments and hobbies become much less important. One could marry someone who is otherwise “incompatible” (by the world’s standards) so long as both are completely surrendered to the same Lord–the Lord Jesus Christ.

It just so happens that my pastor is blogging on the topic of preparation for marriage–and I think he’s got some really great insights. You can find his posts at Please pass them along to someone who could use them.

The Week in WordsDon’t forget to take a look at Barbara H’s meme “The Week in Words”, where bloggers collect quotes they’ve read throughout the week.

Book Review: “Amorelle” by Grace Livingston Hill

October 21st, 2010

It’s funny how perspective changes preferences.

I remember reading Grace Livingstone Hill when I was a pre-teen and loving the homemaking ingenuity of her characters. I enjoyed the old-fashioned romance of her once-contemporary novels.

By my late teens, I had definitely developed a bias against Hill. I considered her a writer of pablum, meaningless, bland, run-of-the-mill Christian fiction.

And now I’m reading her again–partly because I’ve read a few bloggers who spoke of their admiration for Hill and partly because she’s at my library and is an easy read.

I hadn’t read Amorelle during my earlier years–so I can’t compare my thoughts on this specific title from then to now–but I can make some observations.

Amorelle goes to stay with her worldly aunt, uncle, and cousin after her pastor father dies, leaving her homeless. Her aunt and cousin quickly consign her to the status of household help. She excels in this role, creating delicious little snacks and doing pretty handwork. Yep, just what I remember from my earlier days–homemaking ingenuity.

Amorelle’s old-fashioned Christianity (with its certain social taboos) contrasts sharply with her cousin’s brash worldliness. Louise is loud and scheming. She calls her mother by her first name and pettishly insists on her own way. Amorelle, on the other hand, is sweet, acquiescent, and courteous.

So is Amorelle meaningless, bland, run-of-the-mill Christian fiction, as I would have said in my late teens?

That’s what I’m not so sure about any more. Certainly, Amorelle is not top-tier fiction. It’s not likely to win any literary awards. But there is a depth to this novel and an almost natural quality with which faith is woven into the storyline.

Amorelle is swept off her feet by a young member of Louise’s set, a handsome business-like fellow who is nevertheless quite taken with Amorelle. Almost without realizing it, Amorelle finds herself engaged to George. But the moment their engagement is announced she starts to wonder whether this decision was wise.

Is George really the right man for her? Do they have that unity of heart and soul that Amorelle’s parents seemed to have? Is Amorelle in love with George? Or is she really just in love with being in love? Amorelle must learn to lean on the Lord’s wisdom to guide her through these difficult questions.

Like I said, Hill isn’t likely to win any literary awards for her writing–but I did find Amorelle to be a nice, comfortable read. It isn’t meaty enough for a main course, but neither is it the meaningless fluff of a dessert. It’s a salad book, a nice, nutritious break from meat and potatoes reading.

Rating: 3 stars
Category: Christian Romance
Synopsis: After the death of her pastor father, Amorelle moves in with her relatives–and shortly finds herself engaged to a dashing young businessman. But is George really the right man for her?
Recommendation: This isn’t spectacular reading, but it’s a nice, medium-weight novel for relaxing on a lazy day.

Visit my books page for more reviews and notes.

Browse bekahcubed:

Search bekahcubed:

Contact bekahcubed:

Get my button:

bekahcubed button

Popular Tags:

I participate in:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge
L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge
What's on Your Nightstand?