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They Almost Always Come Home Paperback – May 1, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 230 customer reviews

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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)
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About the Author

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She’s the award-winning author of 16 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. Visit her online at CynthiaRuchti.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426702388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426702389
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through award-winning novels, novellas, devotionals, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 43 years and loves on her three kids and five grandchildren. Cynthia 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 fifteen already on the shelves. Her books have been honored with two Selah Awards, three Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and awards from CAN Golden Scrolls and AWSA Golden Scrolls, as well as finalist and top honors in awards programs such as ACFW's Carol Awards, ForeWord Book Reviews Book of the Year, RT Reviews Book of the Year, Family Fiction's Book of the Year, Cascade Awards Book of the Year, and Inspirational Readers' Choice, among others. You can connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com, at www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, at www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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