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They Almost Always Come Home [Kindle Edition]

Cynthia Ruchti
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When Libby’s husband Greg fails to return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities soon write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn’t died…and if Greg hadn’t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance…if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What the trio discovers in the search upends Libby’s presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Ruchti's debut faith-based novel, Libby and Greg's marriage is sputtering in the wake of their daughter's death. Libby's thinking about leaving—until she's faced with the prospect of becoming a widow when Greg fails to return from a solo trip to the Canadian wilderness. As Libby, her best friend Jen, and father-in-law Frank go after Greg to bring him back or learn his fate, Libby also learns about herself, family, and faith. It's a great premise, and Ruchti has enough energy to make the suspense last for just about the whole book, even as she unpacks the marriage troubles in the background and the character interplay among the searchers in the foreground. A lot of readers will like Libby, who is flawed enough to be humble and teachable; a few might find her brittle and defensive wit (rocks with bad toupees of lichen) a little much. Libby's friend Jen, however, is improbably saintly. Crisp dialogue propels the story forward unobtrusively. Ruchti shows imagination and promise. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Award-winning author and speaker Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She's the author of 16 books and has received recognition from several awards programs including RT Reviewers’ Choice, Christian Retailing’s Best, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice, ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Awards, the Golden Scroll Awards, and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year program. Cynthia serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, working as a connection for retailers, readers, libraries, and book clubs across the country. Visit her online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 538 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1426702388
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (December 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,499 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
122 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Story With A Sense of Humor May 12, 2010
Greg and Libby's marriage began its slow decline three years ago with the death of their twelve year old daughter, Lacy. Unable to heal from Lacy's death, they eventually grew apart--Greg no longer knowing how to reach Libby and Libby no longer wanting to be reached. When Greg didn't return from a solo canoeing trip in the Canadian wilderness, the authorities' assumption was he had decided to leave their marriage. Needing to know for sure he'd abandoned her, Libby, Frank (Greg's Father), and Jen (her best friend) decided to retrace Greg's path through the wilderness in hope of discovering if he'd left her or if he's dead. As they began their trip, Libby's not sure which she'd prefer. Would she rather him have left her or died? Honestly she's having a hard time caring, especially since, she was planning to leave him.

They Almost Always Come Home is not so much of a story as a journey. It's a trip through the past and the present searching for hope in the future. This journey of hope is in the midst of grief combined with fragmented relationships and unfailing friendship. There are infinite amounts of material in this book to praise from its simple beauty to its haunting emptiness. This is not a book to be read and set aside, but rather absorbed and contemplated or perhaps discussed among friends or in a group setting. It is a deep, rich book and one I highly recommend.

I've read several books that include the death of a child and they typically attempt to capture the strain on a relationship in the depths of the parent's grief. They also try to help the reader feel the agony of the parents as they weep for the child they've lost. Some are able to accurately capture those moments and present them to the reader. This is one of them.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Kindle March 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story had me hooked from the start, as the wife contemplates funeral arrangments for her husband who is late to return from a wilderness trip. I do the same! Funny book. BUT - do not buy the Kindle edition of this book! It is not formatted well for Kindle. The dialoge sections are not separated properly, so it can be hard to keep track of who is speaking. The text switches back and forth between left and centered-justified and the title and author line that appears on the top of hard copy books is inserted at odd spots throughout the book. This is NOT one for kindle.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut novel with a unique plot. May 12, 2010
I loved the first line of this book. It made me smile because I've thought similar things when my husband was late coming home. He's much older than I am so my mind would often race with the what ifs, just like Libby's had. The premise of this story was unique and intriguing. At first when the trio search party headed out looking for Libby's husband, I was pulled in and coasting along. But because I'm not much of a camper I started to lose interest in that aspect of the story. But I hung in there and was glad that I did.

Ruchti's use of snarky internal dialog through Libby's point of view helped keep the story real and interesting. I loved how the story shifted to a different perspective toward the end and how it also showed another side to the situation. I also enjoyed watching God work in these characters' hearts. The relationship between Libby, her father-in-law, and her best friend exemplified real love and commitment. I was deeply involved in their dilemma. Should they give up and turn back, or keep pressing on? Life is often like that and it paralleled this story in many surprising ways. They Almost Always Come Home is a great example of perseverance in the Christian life and how God will carry us through. Cynthia Ruchti was the perfect author to share this life-transforming tale.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh New Voice In Christian Fiction May 6, 2010
This story rings true and although another reader mentioned slow spots, I didn't notice any. Sometimes a book needs a bit of breathing room so tense pacing with a few slower passages make a good read. I'm going to have to figure out how to get Cynthia to be my critique partner. I could learn a lot from her writing skills.

Enough said about that.

Sometimes when our friends are hit by ill health, death, or financial problems it can tear up a marriage. I was intrigued by how real Libby was. And how her mourning for loss made her unable to see the other persons suffering. I liked reading the story and seeing God work in her life as she searched for her husband . . . or his body. She needed closure and in her angst she wasn't sure which would be the more satisfying ending.

If they ever make this into a movie it will be a tear producer. I look forward to Cynthia's next novel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay...... August 18, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book started out pretty good, but then went downhill. It was definitely longer than it needed to be. To me, Greg was a sympathetic character, Libby not so much. I didn't like the story being written in the first person. Some of the descriptions along their journey north were beautiful. For a while, there was suspense but then it became too preachy. I enjoy Christain fiction but this was too much, too preachy, and too many Bible quotes, so much so that it took away from the last quarter of the book. The writing itself was good; there were some Kindle formatting problems but not enough to really be distracting. If I had paid the asking price of 9.99 for this I would be upset, but I picked it up when it was free which is great for a book that was just okay. I probably wouldn't purchase any other books by this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it! Libby's humor was a fun surprise
Enjoyed it! Libby's humor was a fun surprise. At first she's pretty whiny and negative (most people in her situation would be) -- and she's not attempting to be a comedian -- she... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Christin Ditchfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Things were a bit rocky before he left on the trip and she’s left...
Deb’s Dozen: Canoeing for clarity. Lightning for light? Faith and family are everything!

I bought and read Cynthia Ruchti’s book, They Almost Always Come Home, about a... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Deb Haggerty
4.0 out of 5 stars Who really Wrote this book?
I have said this before but I think I will say it again I'm Cynthia's biggest fan.
I am not so sure that Cynthia wrote this book, it has her name on the cover but it just does... Read more
Published 11 days ago by M.Fields
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read, looking for more by this author as a result!
Published 1 month ago by Vicki Santee
5.0 out of 5 stars but the story was good and it was quite well written
This was a free book and it had lots of typos and grammatical errors, but the story was good and it was quite well written. I really enjoyed it!
Published 1 month ago by becky meekhof
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that is was bad, it just didn't do anything for me
To be totally honest, I never did finish it. Not that is was bad, it just didn't do anything for me.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This story inspires me to never give up a quest or to be down something doesn't go my way. It was a very good story.
Published 3 months ago by D. Pricco
4.0 out of 5 stars good story
This page turner is a great story to be inspired to follow God no matter what the circumstances are. Good read.
Published 3 months ago by Callmediane
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic statement of faith
Real faith is not based on candy coating. It is often tempered by life's trials. Sometimes you can't orchestrate a perfect life, but live within boundaries God places with us. Read more
Published 4 months ago by patricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story!
Published 5 months ago by Dallas Bissell
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More About the Author

Taking multi-tasking to new heights (or depths, depending on your perspective), Cynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of recent releases "All My Belongings" (novel), "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (novel), and "Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices" (nonfiction). She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 42 years, loves on her three kids and five grandchildren, recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the eight already on the shelves. The year 2010 saw the release of her debut novel--"They Almost Always Come Home" by Abingdon Press (a Carol Award finalist)--and a Christmas collection novella, "The Heart's Harbor" in A Door County Christmas, a Family Fiction Reader's Choice, by Barbour Publishing. "His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not," released Nov 1, 2011. Another novella collection--"Cedar Creek Seasons" (Barbour) released in spring of 2012. "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (April 2013) was followed by "All My Belongings" (2014, also from Abingdon Press). Her books have recently been honored with two Selah Awards, two Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and awards from CAN Golden Scrolls and AWSA Golden Scrolls. She tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through writing and speaking, but she gave up knitting, counted cross-stitch, sewing her own clothes, naps, and dusting baseboards a long time ago. You can find her at, at, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea.

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