I’ve been a fan of Cynthia Ruchti’s ever since she led ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers, of which I’m a member) as president a few years back. A gifted leader, she is also (not surprisingly) a gift communicator. Witness this, her latest book, Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices. Ruchti is also the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Where the Morning Glory Blooms and They Almost Always Come Home. In addition, she writes and produces the daily 15-minute radio broadcast, The Heartbeat of the Home, and is editor of the broadcast’s Backyard Friends magazine. When she’s not writing novels, devotionals, and magazine articles, she speaks for women’s events and writers’ conferences. She and her husband live in Wisconsin, where she creates stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark.
About this book: It is one thing to live with the consequences of your own choices. But what happens when your life is forever altered because of someone else’s toxic actions? With the assurance of a God who hears and understands, Ragged Hope reaches out to survivors and those who care about, counsel, or long to make a difference in their lives.
Genre: Religion/Christian Life/Personal Growth
Judge this book by its cover? Yes. It’s lovely and does its contents justice. (Nicely done, Abingdon Press.)
Buy or borrow? Buy, especially if you identify yourself as one hurt by other people’s choices. Or do it for a friend.
Why did I read this book? For Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press for review.
Would I read another by this author? Yes.
My take: Of course you know I’m going to like a book with storytelling at its heart. Especially when the storyteller is telling true stories using what I’ll call creative non-fiction technique. That is, she writes truth as she would fiction. And then does that exceptionally well.
Ragged Hope is not quite a devotional but more of an encouraging resource for those who have been through the fire, past or present, at the hands of someone else. It would make an ideal book for a women’s support group to read for discussion. It is comprised of a series of real-life stories, to which most women can relate. And you already know how I feel about stories, which contain the power to shape and transform hearts and lives.
Each chapter centers around its own story that highlights a particular kind of loss or struggle. Grandparents left to raise grandchildren, for instance, family fallout after a sex offender’s sentencing, or those left behind after a teen’s suicide. Following each story, Ruchti provides discussion-provoking questions and a Scripture for meditation. I especially like her inclusion in every chapter of “If you know a (fill in the blank, the name of someone who’s been through that particular situation)…” in which she encourages readers to take stock of people in their own circles, and to perhaps think outside the box with practical suggestions as to how to better support these hurting ones.
Though the theology is not particularly deep, neither is the tone preachy, as Ruchti allows each story to carry its own weight. But her word pictures evoke deep pathos, and her piquant language is as vibrant as the wisdom and comfort she offers.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
To see what other bloggers have to say, click here. For more about this intriguing writer, visit her on the web at CynthiaRuchti.com. AND Cynthia Ruchti is celebrating the release of Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press) with a $200 Visa Cash Card “Hope” Giveaway and Facebook Party!
One winner will receive:
- A $200 Visa Cash Card
- Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced at the “Ragged Hope Author Chat Part on August 1st. Connect with Cynthia for an evening of encouragement, laughter, and more! Cynthia will also share an exclusive look at her next project and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.