Here’s a funny coincidence: I Take This Man comes out as an e-book the same week that my daughter will take her wedding vows. The cover says, “Can mistakes be undone?” but there are none of those here. We’re all happy as can be, secure that they have chosen well in each other!
It’s definitely a case of “life intervenes” when weddings come along. Whatever we used to do is swept aside–even Emilie Loring!–to envision, shop, try on, taste, write lists, make calls…
Our Emilie Loring tea–was it only 12 days ago?–provided a welcome pause. Thanks to all who sent in photos. Here’s one more from my favorite people in Blue Hill! It’s in keeping with the spirit of these days–more refined, more elegant than my usual, Kansas living. Don’t you just love pleasant times?
Thanks, too, for those of you who wrote to say this just isn’t your year. Believe me, I understand! Remember, you’re the intended audience for Emilie’s books–the people she hoped would set their burdens down long enough to read her stories and return to their tasks feeling refreshed and ready to go. Tea is optional.
Luckily, my daughter is a great planner, and she decided her “bachelorette party” would be a whole week at our lake house with her maid of honor and me. It’s a lovely place, perfect for happy thoughts and quiet reflection before everything goes crazy around here.
How does marriage change us and our relationships with others? How do we define it for ourselves?
If we know anything about Emilie Loring, it’s that she believed in love and believed in marriage as a lasting companionship. Then along comes Penny Sherrod who marries Don Garth but is infatuated with Dick Wentworth. What are we to make of I Take This Man?
These are comments from readers on our Facebook page:
Joanna: “I love Don and feel sorry for him. I always feel sorry for Penny when Geoff (I think) gets on her case about Kitty. I love her Dawning Realization that she loves Don. The mystery is scary. You feel with her tiptoeing through the forest.”
Vicki: “This is one of my least favorite ‘Emilies’ (as my daughter and I call her books). Penelope lacks the integrity and courage that most of Loring’s protagonists possess–at least in the beginning of the story. Also, I wonder if her dilemma will appear dated to modern readers–who could easily start a crowdfunding platform–instead of marrying someone they didn’t love. However, I am glad that Emilies are available to a new audience. She certainly inspired high ideals to generations of women!”
I smile at the idea of “Emilies” (I call them that, too!) that include crowdfunding platforms, but if she were writing now, her up-to-date characters would certainly recognize that as an option. Would Prudence Schuyler advertise “cage free” eggs? Would Di Vernon sell her herbs online?
In one swift conversation, Penny realizes that Dick is unworthy, but it takes months for her to fall for the man she married. Their romance is close to trademark Emilie: a series of misunderstandings, little chips in the armor of their defenses, “dawning realization,” a crisis that brings their true feelings into the open, and a read-it-again ending.
I wrote about some of my frustrations with I Take This Man in a previous post (see it here: “Finding Garth the Gunmaker”), but I’m not feeling critical today. This is my Mother-of-the-Bride week, and I feel hopeful and happy and optimistic–very Emilie Loring.
I’m going to take this time to focus on my daughter–to be mindful of the moments and to enjoy the certainty that the beautiful things in life are very real, indeed.
Imagine me trying to look cheerfully composed in my finery and 100-degree heat, and think happy thoughts for Sally and Andy on Saturday!