Thoughts from “A Tailor Made Bride”

Thoughts from “A Tailor Made Bride”

I promised you a review of A Tailor Made Bride when I finished it.  Here it is. I recommend the book and I’d like to tell you about it, but I’d also like to expand on why its themes impacted me.

The book is set in Texas in the 1880s.   The tag line on the back of the book reads, “When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!”

I enjoyed the characters and their dialogue. I found the writing light, pleasant and humorous, real to life, but not over the top.  Hannah’s character depicted a well balanced example of an independent woman, while maintaining a positive picture of Biblical womanhood.  (For my readers who previously commented on the “troubling popularity” of overly independent female characters: I also strongly dislike “women are perfect, men are idiots man-bashing,” so I want to affirm that I found none of that in this novel.)  J.T. (Jericho Tucker) also portrayed a solid and balanced lead character.  I appreciated his very real to life illustration of a man strong on deeds and short on words.  Further, I loved how his story reflected the way that God works in our lives for our good, even when at times that means that He deliberately allows our plans to come to nothing so that He can work things out according to His plans.

One of the themes that made A Tailor Made Bride stand out to me was the inclusion of how we create ill-conceived notions based on our own false perceptions of reality.  Reinforced by more than one character and skillfully woven into the book as an overarching idea, this theme captured my attention.  Every one of us has experienced life events that lead us to form opinions, which may or may not be true.  One of the scenes that the book hinges on, finds Jericho being challenged to read for himself what the Bible says in regard to a certain perspective that he holds.

How many times have I built my ideals and notions of life, not on the Word of God, but on what I perceived to be true based on my experience and circumstances?  The number would be too numerous to count.  I am fully capable of framing an entire belief system on what I think to be true, rather than upon what God tells me in His Word.

A couple of years ago, I found myself struggling with life here in Hungary.  I honestly believed, based on my circumstances and performance, that I would never learn Hungarian and never really adapt to life here.  Then one day a friend confronted me and told me to stop believing the enemy’s lie.  It stunned me.  My beliefs seemed logical enough, until someone took the time to challenge me with the Word of God.  When I read again how nothing is impossible with God, how He is able to complete the work He began, how He made the tongue and on and on, I found that what I was telling myself was not truth, it was instead a misconceived notion based on faulty human logic.  The lie protected me, keeping me from having to get up and try again.  By labeling myself a hopeless case and a failure I insulated myself from the painful process of growth through perseverance.  Yet, if I had continued to live according to that lie I would have missed out on all God had in store for my life.

So as I read A Tailor Made Bride I enjoyed seeing the characters choose whether or not they would seek out and believe the Word of God and allow the transformation of their thoughts, from misconceived notions to truth.  In the story, as in real life, there is great joy in seeing truth embraced.  For when we let go of the lies that we believe and embrace God’s truth we discover freedom and joy.  As a result we are better able to live in relationship with and reflect the glory of the God to a world in desperate need of the truth.