Book Review: Matched Pearls by Grace Livingston Hill

I grew up reading Grace Livingston Hill.  How exciting it was to see that my first approved book for review with NetGalley turned out to be a GLH reissue. These books were my first introduction into the romance genre starting at the age of 11.  Her books were always well-written, sweet and God-honoring.  I've noticed her books popping up in stores recently, and I hope a new generation of girls and women will begin reading her books.

Constance Courtland is rich. Beautiful. And haughty. But the town beauty’s life is about to take a drastic turn. After a terrible accident, her world is shattered, and she’s forced to take a look at what truly matters. Can she let go of old ways forever and embrace a bright tomorrow—with the help of a captivating yet startling stranger?

Such a beautiful story of the saving grace of God and the happiness and joy he promises if we will only give our lives to Him. 

Constance Courtland is a rich college girl more interested in her social calendar than her relationship with God. What she does want though is her grandmother’s heirloom matched pearls. In order to get them, she just has to attend church and be confirmed into the membership. This she does and gains the pearls. 

At church during her confirmation, Constance meets Seagave. He's new in town and joining the church too. He is like a delightful breath of fresh air to Constance and yet she doesn't quite know what to think of him. Graham Seagave is a Christian young man with high ideals who initially believes Constance shares his faith. When he realizes, the discrepancy he so willingly and beautifully witnesses to her. He's such an honest sincere person from day one and nothing like the men Connie knows as he proclaims Gods great promises. 

This was so much more a story of Constance finding The Lord than finding a mate. It was lovely to see the dynamic of Constance's character. She changed from a spoiled rich girl to a lovely young woman with a heart opening to God until she does finally ask him in. 

Seagrave is an example of how all Christians should endeavor to be. He doesn’t just claim to know Christ; he has a personal relationship and the ability to share Christ for any who will listen. It is beautiful how much Bible he has memorized so that he can pull out a passage as needed. Quite inspiring. 

How beautiful it was to see how Constance’s introduction to Seagrave opens her eyes to what a sinner she is.  Like so many who are lost, they can’t see their sin as though they are blind until someone points it out to them. Then it becomes so obvious they can’t neglect to see it. Constance first realizes it when she gets back to college and even more so after she returns home after graduation and she begins reading Seagrave’s Bible. She knows now more than ever what a sinner and a hypocrite she is.

The book includes beautiful descriptions of nature: weather, breezes, flowers, etc. GLH is akin to L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) in the beautiful, flowery descriptions that flow masterfully and succinctly over the page creating visual pictures in the mind of the reader. 

This is one of those books to enjoy and savor. The plot carries you swiftly from chapter to chapter and is quite emotional. The gospel is simply revealed in the author’s beautiful prose through the minster of the hero.

The romantic finale develops into a gift to our characters from The Lord above. Some readers might find the story old-fashioned from its sentimentality to the style of prose with more telling than showing, but the message in this book is just as strong and just as poignant as it was back in 1933. I do wish there had been more interaction of hero and heroine in the middle of the book. Of course, this is when Constance went through the introspection and growth she needed to do on her own. By the time Seagrave does return, Constance was finally ready to make a commitment to Christ and to Seagrave. 

Highly Recommended!

 Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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