Saturday, June 12, 2010

They Almost Always Come Home

by D'Ann Mateer

The tagline for this book grabbed me right away: She would leave her husband . . . if she could find him.

They Almost Always Come Home is Cynthia Ruchti’s debut novel—and it’s a doozy! Wilderness adventure combined with gut-wrenching emotion that rings oh-too-true. A story about the agony of grief, the value of friendship, the bond of marriage, and the amazing lengths the Lord will go to heal our hearts when we let Him.

And all this with stunningly wonderful writing to boot! Not just the words, the images and emotions they conveyed, but the way the story felt complete, whole. Nothing wasted. Everything for a reason.

I confess that literal “journey” books seldom hold appeal for me. Especially ones that involve the outdoors. I’m not a nature girl, in practice or theory. But Libby, the main character, wasn’t either. So maybe that made me appreciate her situation even more. 

Yet in sacrificing her comfort, Libby found her peace. And isn’t that so often the way of things? We are all on a journey of faith, both physically and spiritually, just like Libby. And also like her, even after surrendering ourselves to the Lord, life doesn’t tie up in a neat and tidy bow. Real life rarely does. But like the end of this book, it can still be hopeful. And satisfying.

Am I surprised at the depth and quality of this book? Not entirely. Cynthia, the current president of the American Christian Fiction Writers, is one of the most gracious, kind, and loving people I’ve ever come in contact with. Faith oozes from her. So it doesn’t shock me to find that the Lord has graced her with the ability to convey such a story in such a way.

I think it will be a very long time before I forget this book.


  1. I'm so happy to hear this great review D'Ann. I had an idea in my head what I expected from this book and you've confirmed it.
    I had a chance to chat with Cynthia Ruchti at the ACFW conference and listen to her speak publicly. I was so impressed.

    I want a book to stay with me long after I've read it; a pay off for my investment of time! Thanks for the review.

  2. I have been so impressed with Cynthia's spirit on the one or two occasions I met her. I need to make another trip to the bookstore. See you later girls!

    Thanks D'Ann!

  3. Loved this review. Although this isn't the type of book I normally would buy, I am definitely purchasing this one.

  4. Thanks Deb, Lisa, and Diane! I always feel very inadequate at book reviews, so I appreciate your encouragement! I really did love this book so I'm glad that came through!

  5. I was honored to be Cynthia's interviewer for the ACFW Featured Author last month which is where I was first introduced to this book.

    Like Diane, it's not my normal reading fare, but I'm interested because of the connection to Quetico Provincial Park which is located just a couple hours west of where I used to live in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In fact, it's just a few hours northwest of Minneapolis, too, which is where the 2008 ACFW conference was held.

    Thanks for the review, D'Ann.

  6. This isn't my usual sort of read, either, but it sounds wonderful and I'm glad to hear Cynthia's such a righteous person. Thanks for the review, D'Ann!

  7. Oh, you wonderful people (including D'Ann)! What a blessing you are! Yes, even if you think it isn't the kind of book you normally would pick up, try a few pages. I'll meet you there!

  8. I just finished this book, and it was stunning! I enjoyed it immensely. I also liked it because I wasn't sure exactly where it was headed...or in which direction. But I won't give anything it and find out for yourself!!

  9. Thank you so much, Barb. Still smiling over your comments about the book.


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