Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken. Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?
I’m going to start out this book review post by saying this is one of the best Christian fiction books I’ve read in a long time, especially since I had never heard of this author, Cynthia Ruchti. It was so good, in fact, that I’ve already shared the book with one of my dear friends and hope that she loves it too! Since this isn’t Ms Ruchti’s first book, that means I need to get my hands on her other books so I can read them as well! (Hint, hint Ms. Ruchti if you are reading this…..)
Sometimes when I finish a book, I have a little bit of a hard time gathering my thoughts to do a post. I hope that won’t be the case with A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti. I will admit that I didn’t read the back cover of the book like I usually do, so I went into the story without an opinion of the plot.
To be honest, I’m not even sure how to relay to you how deeply emotional and heartfelt this story is. As I was reading, there were times that nearly caused me to nearly cry and then at other times, I was actually laughing out loud. The story itself is an up-close look at a marriage that’s in trouble, and only one of the couple knows it. Josiah is the husband who realizes his wife is in the process of leaving him only after she is involved in a serious accident. The story itself captivates readers from the beginning of the first scene right until the last word is written.
Even though most of the story is seen from Josiah’s perspective, he didn’t seem to be all that likeable at the beginning. He actually seemed to be a self-absorbed man who expected Karin to be there when he needed her and he didn’t even notice her gone, until she was gone. It’s like the shoemaker’s kids going without shoes – he’s a marriage counselor who doesn’t know where to turn when his own marriage seems to be ending. The truth of the story is that a frustrating misunderstanding drives this story.
Both the primary characters and the secondary characters are well written, very realistic and amazingly inspiring. I love the “Seedlings & Sentiments” quotes throughout the story, which add a little something too. This is the kind of story that stays with you for quite some time after you’re done reading too. I’ve been finished with the book a week and I’m still thinking about it!
A Fragile Hope definitely touched my heart. The spiritual elements aren’t overpowering for non-believers, but you will see Jesus within the pages of this story. As readers walk with Josiah through his journey, we see a reflection of what love looks like – a love that starts out like human love but slowly but surely comes to show the kind of love modeled for us by Jesus. I also think the message relates to all relationships in life and not just for married couples. Overall I feel that the book has themes of forgiveness, hope, and learning and growing in our faith walk with God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in Hope through her novels and novellas, speaking for women’s events and retreats, writers’ events, nonfiction books, and devotionals, drawing from 33 years writing and producing an on-air radio broadcast. Her books have been recognized by RT Reviewers’ Choice, Selah Awards, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, CR’s BEST Awards, Carol Award honors, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year honors and others. She has a total of 18 books on the shelves, with more contracted. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 44-plus years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff and faculty for the Write-to-Publish conference, WriteCanada, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks frequently for women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team and Creative Arts team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through the litfuse bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.