Friday, July 28, 2017

Matched Pearls by Grace Livingston Hill Book Review

Matched Pearls, by Grace Livingston Hill, is about a college-age girl, Constance Courtland.  Constance is spoiled, comes from a well-off family and is not a great role model at the beginning of the book.  She is upset because her cousin could possibly get their Grandmother's pearls, if Constance does not join her family's church.  She does not want that be happen, so she carelessly professes her faith and joins. The day after she joins the church, a very nice man who joined the church the same day as her comes over to her house. He tells her how happy he is that someone close to his age joined the church just like him and obviously has some really strong faith.  He can't wait to hear her testimony and get to know her better.  She has to admit to him that she's a fake.  She is not too upset and goes back to college, where she gets made fun of for joining a church.  Soon everything gets turned on its head.  She is not as happy with all the things she and her friends are doing at college and then, as the back cover of the book says, "Then a horrifying accident shatters Constance as well and she's forced to consider what truly matters-".

This is not an "I start the book and I know every thing that will ever happen" kind of book.
The accident is not something that happens to Constance herself, but rather to her friend.  She desperately calls upon Graham Seagrave, the young man she met that day after she "joined" the church, to help.  Graham is a fantastic guy and has stored up knowledge of the Bible, which he freely shares.

Many, many, many more things happen after this.  I barely gave away the beginning. There are a lot of twists and turns to this book.  Matched Pearls is a stand alone, which is refreshing in a world of series after series.  And the message is still good and very relevant, even though this book was first published in 1933.  I am always surprised at how the world really has only changed in technology, but nothing else is really that different.

I don't recommend this for too young of reader because of death and many things that other characters are doing (even if it is just briefly eluded to at college).  I would consider it a clean read, but for 13+ at the youngest.  Grace Livingston Hill does write very clean romance, but she doesn't shy away from mentioning smoking, alcohol and other problems of the day if it is necessary for the story, and for showing the way a certain character is, or for acknowledging character development (even if she does have to mention something in a bad light, or in a way that the character doesn't know the pitfalls of the aforementioned thing yet).  Connie, or Constance, has a certain amount of character development that makes a great deal of change over the course of the novel.  This is in my top ten of Grace Livingston Hill books, and definitely a high recommendation.

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