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They Almost Always Come Home [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Cynthia Ruchti
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Hardcover CDN $27.19  
Hardcover, Large Print, Aug. 1 2010 --  
Paperback CDN $13.59  
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2010 Thorndike Christian Romance
Finalist - 2011 Carol Award and 2010 RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice AwardWhen Libby s husband Greg fails to return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities soon write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband s escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn t died . . . and if Greg hadn t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband s disappearance if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What the trio discovers in the search upends Libby s presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith."
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey within a Journey June 29 2010
Format:Paperback
"Do dead people wear shoes? In the casket, I mean. Seems a waste. Then again, no outfit is complete without the shoes."

So the question is: Who's dead? The answer: No one. But Libby's husband is late returning from a solo canoe trip. Right from the beginning, I could relate. Tell me I'm not the only one who starts worrying about the worst case scenario way too soon! Well, me and Libby. After all, They Almost Always Come Home.

But here's the big difference between Libby and me. Libby is just plain annoyed that her husband doesn't show back up. The nerve. After all, she had every intention of walking out on him as soon as he got home, but she can't leave him if he isn't even there. They've drifted apart since their daughter's death three years before, but she never saw this coming! How dare he?

Libby, her best friend, and her father-in-law head north from Wisconsin into Quetico Park in Ontario, trying to find out what happened to Greg. As they start the trip, Libby isn't sure whether she hopes to find him dead or alive. The physical journey is only part of the tale--the other part is her spiritual journey through dealing with the grief of losing a child and, possibly, a less-than-cherished spouse.

They Almost Always Come Home is a tender, funny, provocative story. I think you'll enjoy the ride.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  206 reviews
122 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Story With A Sense of Humor May 12 2010
By Melissa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Greg and Libby's marriage began its slow decline three years ago with the death of their twelve year old daughter, Lacy. Unable to heal from Lacy's death, they eventually grew apart--Greg no longer knowing how to reach Libby and Libby no longer wanting to be reached. When Greg didn't return from a solo canoeing trip in the Canadian wilderness, the authorities' assumption was he had decided to leave their marriage. Needing to know for sure he'd abandoned her, Libby, Frank (Greg's Father), and Jen (her best friend) decided to retrace Greg's path through the wilderness in hope of discovering if he'd left her or if he's dead. As they began their trip, Libby's not sure which she'd prefer. Would she rather him have left her or died? Honestly she's having a hard time caring, especially since, she was planning to leave him.

They Almost Always Come Home is not so much of a story as a journey. It's a trip through the past and the present searching for hope in the future. This journey of hope is in the midst of grief combined with fragmented relationships and unfailing friendship. There are infinite amounts of material in this book to praise from its simple beauty to its haunting emptiness. This is not a book to be read and set aside, but rather absorbed and contemplated or perhaps discussed among friends or in a group setting. It is a deep, rich book and one I highly recommend.

I've read several books that include the death of a child and they typically attempt to capture the strain on a relationship in the depths of the parent's grief. They also try to help the reader feel the agony of the parents as they weep for the child they've lost. Some are able to accurately capture those moments and present them to the reader. This is one of them. It was pure in its emotions and simple in its presentation. Until experiencing the death of a child, one can never really understand it, but this book came pretty close to immersing the reader into those agonizing moments.

Thankfully Ruchti included a healthy dose of humor. From subtle comments to blatant remarks, this is a story that takes the edge off the situation through humor. Much of the humor will be appreciated by women more than men. In fact, this book in general is definitely geared towards women. I'm not sure many men could identify as easily with the interworking of Libby's mind. It felt feminine all around and worked very well in that regard.

Central to They Almost Always Come Home is hope. Hope they will find Greg, but also hope Libby can reconcile to God. Grief often is accompanied by a rift from God. All those questions that one would like answered often gets in the way of seeing things the way God does. This book doesn't offer answers, which I appreciate. Instead it takes the reader through the journey of one woman's struggles with God. It was the perfect approach for this novel and executed perfectly.

This is a great book, there's no question about it. It was beautiful in numerous ways and a pleasure to read. From the opening scene where Libby is planning her husband's funeral through the gut wrenching agony of the unknown, this is a magnificent story. To quote the ever insightful Larry the Cucumber, "I laughed. I cried. It moved me Bob."
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Kindle March 14 2011
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story had me hooked from the start, as the wife contemplates funeral arrangments for her husband who is late to return from a wilderness trip. I do the same! Funny book. BUT - do not buy the Kindle edition of this book! It is not formatted well for Kindle. The dialoge sections are not separated properly, so it can be hard to keep track of who is speaking. The text switches back and forth between left and centered-justified and the title and author line that appears on the top of hard copy books is inserted at odd spots throughout the book. This is NOT one for kindle.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut novel with a unique plot. May 12 2010
By Michelle Sutton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved the first line of this book. It made me smile because I've thought similar things when my husband was late coming home. He's much older than I am so my mind would often race with the what ifs, just like Libby's had. The premise of this story was unique and intriguing. At first when the trio search party headed out looking for Libby's husband, I was pulled in and coasting along. But because I'm not much of a camper I started to lose interest in that aspect of the story. But I hung in there and was glad that I did.

Ruchti's use of snarky internal dialog through Libby's point of view helped keep the story real and interesting. I loved how the story shifted to a different perspective toward the end and how it also showed another side to the situation. I also enjoyed watching God work in these characters' hearts. The relationship between Libby, her father-in-law, and her best friend exemplified real love and commitment. I was deeply involved in their dilemma. Should they give up and turn back, or keep pressing on? Life is often like that and it paralleled this story in many surprising ways. They Almost Always Come Home is a great example of perseverance in the Christian life and how God will carry us through. Cynthia Ruchti was the perfect author to share this life-transforming tale.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh New Voice In Christian Fiction May 6 2010
By Sharon A. Lavy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This story rings true and although another reader mentioned slow spots, I didn't notice any. Sometimes a book needs a bit of breathing room so tense pacing with a few slower passages make a good read. I'm going to have to figure out how to get Cynthia to be my critique partner. I could learn a lot from her writing skills.

Enough said about that.

Sometimes when our friends are hit by ill health, death, or financial problems it can tear up a marriage. I was intrigued by how real Libby was. And how her mourning for loss made her unable to see the other persons suffering. I liked reading the story and seeing God work in her life as she searched for her husband . . . or his body. She needed closure and in her angst she wasn't sure which would be the more satisfying ending.

If they ever make this into a movie it will be a tear producer. I look forward to Cynthia's next novel.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay...... Aug. 18 2010
By kindle addict - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book started out pretty good, but then went downhill. It was definitely longer than it needed to be. To me, Greg was a sympathetic character, Libby not so much. I didn't like the story being written in the first person. Some of the descriptions along their journey north were beautiful. For a while, there was suspense but then it became too preachy. I enjoy Christain fiction but this was too much, too preachy, and too many Bible quotes, so much so that it took away from the last quarter of the book. The writing itself was good; there were some Kindle formatting problems but not enough to really be distracting. If I had paid the asking price of 9.99 for this I would be upset, but I picked it up when it was free which is great for a book that was just okay. I probably wouldn't purchase any other books by this author.
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