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They Almost Always Come Home Hardcover – Large Print, Aug 1 2010
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About the Author
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She s the award-winning author of 16 books and a frequent speaker for women s ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin. Visit her online at CynthiaRuchti.com. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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."
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.
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.
In that regard, I found it tedious in spots and felt its ending was weak, but it was still good enough to rate four stars--as compared to other freebies (which this briefly was). I might even pay a buck or two for it, but ten dollars, NO WAY; it is significantly over-priced.
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