By Cynthia Ruchti
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 5/5/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Emmalyn and Max Ross may have to endure the fight of their lives to mend the tattered fabric of their marriage. His actions ensured she could never be a mother and put him in prison, giving their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out.
On a self-imposed exile to beautiful but remote Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, Emmalyn has just a few months left to figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again. Nudged along by the exuberant owner of the Wild Iris Inn and Cafe, a circle of misfit people in their small town, and a young girl who desperately needs someone to love her, Emmalyn restores an island cottage that could become a home and begins to restore her heart by learning what it means to love unconditionally.
Yet even as hope begins to find a place within the cottage walls, Emmalyn still wonders if she's ready for Max's release. She may be able to rebuild a cottage, but can she rebuild a marriage?
A special thank you to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Cynthia Ruchti delivers an inspiring, and heartwarming tale,AS WATERS GONE BY with more than distance, between these characters. A emotional story of loss, sacrifice, faith, and peace and triumphant hope – finding your way back with second chances; through life’s tragedies and trials. "You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by." Job 11:16.
Emmalyn Ross recalls five years ago when receiving a voice mail message from her husband, Max. He was in trouble and wanted her to come and get him. She was three minutes late. She had not noticed the message until he had already pushed the accelerator toward their incomprehensible future. Now, with the loss of Mac’s income and her slow demise of her catering venture; what hadn’t she and Max messed up? Max had eight more months in prison. Three years of trying to conceive unsuccessfully and now five years in prison, needless to say their marriage was strained. .
When she had received the news Max was to serve five years, Max urged her to get on with her life. How was she supposed to accomplish this? A freak accident, the court couldn’t prove Max intended to ram the fertility clinic with their SUV and there was an issue with the accelerator—massive recall weeks after the accident. The court assumed the homeless man leaning on the wall of the clinic that night was not a target but collateral damage from Max’s intoxication, although Max was not a typical drinker, but he was deemed responsible. They have had no contact, per her husband’s request.
She is trying to take control of her life, moving to Madeline Island, one of the islands of the Apostle Islands of Luke to be reached by ferry, she was taking Max’s small old hunting cottage (her mom calls a rattle-trap), and turn it into a home. If she were frugal she could survive on what the court costs and restitution hadn’t taken and the abysmal proceeds from the sale of the Lexington house.
However, it had seemed a much simpler idea before she crossed the ferry. She thought just a bucket of water and Lysol; however the renovation project needed much more work and she was beginning to think it had turned into a renovation project for an HGTV episode. She was choosing life here on this spot to be a charming cottage so she could have remote and solitary days with endless water and sun-drenched beach. Before all this she and Max spent hours toying with names for children they would have, and then later vitro attempts.
From trying to rebuild her life and decide if her marriage can be rebuilt, Emmalyn has the support of friends from The Wild Iris Cafe, especially Boozie, exhibiting both an eclectic style and a compassion heart. So loved the Wild Iris Café, with the delectable food, quaint area, good friends and the wonderful special miracles which will make you smile. A perfect example of how gloom things may seem, and can turn on a dime--you never know what is around the corner.
Love the front cover, drawing me in to the setting; a huge fan of small quaint cottages and cabins, surrounded by the calmness of water with symbolism abounding in this beautifully written Christian fiction story. Boozie was a great mentor for Emmalyn with her strength, friendship and warming heart as we see the change in her faith from the beginning compared to the end. Perfect name for the cottage, "As Waters Gone By," very fitting, a warm place with new memories.
Fans of Lisa Wingate, Deborah Raney, and Colleen Coble will appreciate her flawed characters and struggles—ultimately discovering, faith, love, healing, courage and God’s ultimate plan for renewal.
A sample of the author’s debut novel included, They Almost Always Come Home, for an added treat.
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About the Author
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in Hope through her novels and novellas, speaking for women’s events and retreats, writers’ events and retreats, nonfiction books and devotionals, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry. Her books have been recognized by RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Selah Awards, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award
As of 2015, she will have a total of 15 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.
In 2012, the radio broadcast Cynthia wrote and produced for 33 years–”The Heartbeat of the Home”–drew to a close. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on many radio stations across the country and two cable/digital television stations. Cynthia served as the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.