I’m always drawn to great analogies and setting details, and the most recent book I read definitely shares some of that.
As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon, 2015) introduces the reader to Emmalyn Ross in the midst of a very trying time. Her husband is imprisoned for a rash action and serving a 5-year sentence, which has become a 5-year pause on their marriage. Emmalyn sells their main home and moves to a small cottage they own on a remote island in Lake Superior, wanting a place of exile for the remaining 8 months of her husband’s sentence. Only, when she gets there, she finds more surprises (good and bad) than she expected.
This book features a slightly unique twist on third-person, past tense writing. While the writing remains past tense, the specific voice the author uses allows the reader to follow directly along with Emmalyn’s thought process, even to the point of reading Emmalyn’s train of thought switch mid-sentence. This immediacy helps the reader think and feel as Emmalyn is in the story.
At times in the early chapters, Cora and Bougie’s advice and anecdotes seemed more realistic than Emmalyn’s own thought processes. Some of Emmalyn’s internal analogies and insistent recurrent thoughts made me pause a bit because they disconnected the flow of the narrative. But this was a small distraction compared to the great plot and writing in this book. Most of the setting imagery and analogies were beautiful and heighten the visualizations of the environment. I found myself deeply caring about many of the flavorful and varied side characters by Chapter 4 (the side characters ended up being my favorite!), as well as loving the little island town (and wanting to visit!).
This book tackles so many more themes than just what it takes to make a marriage work. We reflect on friendships, work, family issues, children, lack of children, imprisonment, shelters, grace, communication, and hope. This book is a thoughtful, introspective read that doesn’t present a perfect ending, but does offer a hope-filled one.
What hope-filled book have you recently read?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group as a part of their blogger program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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