A woman recounts her childhood in rural Indiana and her long, passionate marriage to her high school sweetheart in this debut memoir.
Scutt grew up in small-town Indiana with a father who veered from silly to violent. With calm and even prose, the author revisits her worst moments, including having to jump out a window to escape his drunken outbursts. Surprisingly, Scutt’s father was eventually saved by a minister and never had another drop of alcohol for the rest of his life. As a teenager, she was slowly adjusting to this new incarnation of her father when she met Paul—the real focus of her memoir. As she puts it, this book is “the story of our attraction, our falling in love, my salvation.” After a few years of casual dating, Paul and Scutt married. (She tenderly narrates their first few hours as a couple, hinting subtly at their complete naïveté: They were nervous checking into a hotel and undressing in front of each other.) Their newfound coupledom would soon be interrupted by the draft, with Paul being shipped off to Vietnam for a harrowing year in the new bride’s life. Upon his return, they moved across the country and up the economic ladder as Paul ascended in the corporate world. But with each move and bigger house, Scutt always keeps the focus on their relationship, investigating Paul’s manipulative nature and how their devotion to both each other and their faith kept them together. Some readers may balk at the author’s insistence on staying with Paul—especially after a counselor told her point-blank to leave him. But her persistence and dedication to Scripture and the institution of marriage will likely be appreciated by many Christian readers. Overall, Scutt elevates her memoir from being just another life story with carefully selected details pulled from her memory and letters exchanged between the couple, especially during Paul’s time in Vietnam. She also shows a talent for creating wrenching dramatic moments; her early encounters with her father and the scenes of Paul’s eventual, heartbreaking death are particularly well-crafted.
A well-written account that focuses on the ups and downs of family life and the rewards of religious and marital devotion.