If Perfectly Agreeable: A Love Story… by Anne Stanton Sims

If Perfectly Agreeable by Anne Stanton Sims
If Perfectly Agreeable… by Anne Stanton Sims

If Perfectly Agreeable:  A Love Story…

If Perfectly Agreeable:  A Love Story and Life in the 1880s and 1890s in Northwest Florida and Southwest Alabama by Anne Stanton Sims is the true tale of J.P. “Joe” Harrison and Fannie McDavid Harrison, told through their letters to one another over a period of approximately four years –from 1891 to 1895.  Sims is the couple’s great granddaughter, and offers up the letters to preserve the history not only of her family but of the region where their story took place.

If Perfectly Agreeable:  Challenges and History

Joe and Fannie were separated by the Escambia River, nothing daunting by today’s standards, but in their time, quite an obstacle.  The couple communicated by mail, as Fannie lived in Coon Hill on one side of the River, and Joe lived in the McDavid community.  Their towns were connected by a Ferry, but one that could often not cross the River, depending on how engorged it might be.  Letters were the couple’s means of setting dates for courting and staying touch.  In those letters, a history is recorded that gives us a wonderful glimpse into the world that was the Florida Panhandle of the late 1900s.

If Perfectly Agreeable:  Getting to Know Joe and Fannie

Not only does the reader of If Perfectly Agreeable get to know Fannie and Joe almost intimately, and enjoy watching their relationship blossom over time, he or she also enjoys insight into their lives as they were lived at the time.  Fannie stayed and kept house with her mother and sisters, and spent much time traveling to see relatives in neighboring townships, while Joe was employed at a local sawmill.  He was 31 and she 22 when they began corresponding, and their story would not end even with their deaths in the 1950s…

If Perfectly Agreeable:  A Treasure for Lovers of History

For those who enjoy history, this primary source from the Harrison family is nothing short of a treasure.  For those who enjoy romance, there may be no truer tale of how love, occasional challenges, and noteworthy commitment continue to be the catalysts for great relationships—and even better stories.  The format is enticing, the tale is enjoyable, and truth—especially in this case—is better than much fiction.  History buffs among you (especially those from Florida and Alabama), be warned:  this is a book you won’t want to put down, and will be certain to be one remembered and referred to for many years to come.

If you’ve already read If Perfectly Agreeable, tell us what strikes you most about the relationship detailed in the letters of this work.  What parallels can you draw to your own family?

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