Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: According to the Pattern (1903)

According to the Pattern. Grace Livingston Hill. 1903. 186 pages.

According to the Pattern was an interesting read. I honestly can't say I enjoyed it, but I was never tempted to stop reading it either. In this romance novel, Miriam Winthrop discovers her husband is cheating on her. Her daughter spots her father driving with another woman in the park. The woman is beautiful. Miriam doesn't confront her husband, doesn't ask a single question--of him. Of herself, she asks dozens of questions. Mainly, what can I do to get him to love me again? what can I do to keep him? how do I need to change to get him back? What Miriam decides is to give herself and her home a complete makeover. She spends her inheritance on making changes in the hopes that if her husband may be shocked back into loving her. New hairstyle, new clothes in a new style--more fashionable according to the magazines, redecorating the main rooms in the house, etc. She has over a month to accomplish this since her husband happens to be going away on business.

What disappointed me in this novel was how Miriam blames herself completely for her husband's mistakes. Miriam doesn't exactly get angry at her husband or blame her husband. We see her scared, worried, and anxious about how she's going to hold the marriage together, but, we don't see her angry at him for being a jerk. Miriam doesn't ever plan on confronting him or having an open conversation with him. Every plan she has to keep him is a behind-the-scenes plan. She focuses her energy on changing herself, fixing herself, and these fixes are EXTERNAL for the most part. Miriam, when the novel opens, is not a Christian so she doesn't take her problems to God, she isn't leaning on God's promises or trusting in God, she's relying on these external fixes--new dresses, new shoes, new lamps, whatever--to fix her marriage.

I had a few other issues with this one as well. I thought it was weak as a realistic romance novel. I am glad it was resolved happily, but, it didn't exactly work for me.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I've never been really fond of Grace Livingston Hill's books, but I know other people really like them.