Book Review (+ Giveaway): A Fragile Hope

24 Apr

Hope grows when seeds are planted—even in the muddy middle of life.

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?

 

 

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She’s the award-winning author of 17 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.

Find out more about Cynthia at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.

 

My Impressions:

Cynthia Ruchti’s novels always make the reader think . . . and perhaps squirm. In her latest novel, A Fragile Hope, that’s just what I found myself doing — thinking and squirming. Why? Because this novel examines what it means to love, and to love deeply one must sacrifice and hope when all seems lost, and that is just plain hard! But squirming aside, I really loved this book. It gets a highly recommended rating from me.

A Fragile Hope is unusual in its point of view, characterization, and setting. Told in a third person voice, the perspective is almost exclusively from main character Josiah Chamberlain, a renowned marriage guru who doesn’t have a clue. Faced with the devastating accident that has plunged his wife into a coma and him into a world of questions without answers, Josiah begins a journey that exposes his false perceptions of his wife and himself. And Josiah is a very unsympathetic character, at first. Ruchti takes a man who is in his own estimation oblivious, and changes him one painful step at a time. The novel’s action takes place in hospital, and the sterility and isolation comes through loud and clear. Am I making you want to read the book yet? 😉 Really, this book is not an easy or even a pleasant read at times. Life can be ugly and oh so hard, and that is what Josiah faces. But . . . love and hope redeem that life. Josiah has numerous choices to make, and despite his own weaknesses, he makes the choices that matter the most to his wife and their marriage. Twists and turns abound as Josiah learns more about himself and the situation he finds himself in. At the end hope, though fragile, survives.

Josiah (and the reader) learn a lot as the book progresses. In thinking about the activities of caring for his wife he makes this observation — Who knew so much of the battle to get her well again would be waged in his attitude, his memories and his mind? (page 190). This is true in any aspect of a relationship and spoke volumes to me. Really the whole book spoke to me. Jesus is at the center of this book, although Josiah spends much of it keeping Him at the periphery. Truth about Jesus’ love and sacrifice seeps into Josiah’s (and the reader’s) heart. This book really does make you think, think, feel and think again.

A Fragile Hope is not a light or a quick read, but rather one that saturates a reader in its emotion and its truth. Ruchti’s novel is sometimes hard, sometimes painful, and yes, squirm-inducing, but always meaningful and relevant, and, for me, a must-read.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Abingdon and LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia’s Sign of Hope Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking HERE, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.

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