All My Belongings
By Cynthia Ruchti
Abingdon Press, 2014
A new life and a new identity can't protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.
After spending years running from the shame her father put on her family, Jayne is determined not to let him steal her future in the same way he stole her childhood. Changing her name to Becca Morrow, she moves to California and settles into a new life and new job caring for ailing mother of handsome young businessman, Isaac Hughes.
But just as she's wondering if she and Isaac are headed for a relationship, Becca's patient passes away under unusual circumstances. Suddenly, her past catches up with her and the unnerving details of her heritage threaten to destroy all sense of home and all hope for love.
Even if she could clear her name, a phone call wraps a suffocating shroud around her heart. Her estranged father needs her help. But can Becca open her new life to the man who ruined her past?
All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti is a heart-wrenching tale of forgiveness, grace and learning what it means to truly belong. This is the first of Cynthia's books that I've read and it was a moving story. Her writing style is different from what I usually see in Christian fiction, more literary, and I liked that.
This story incorporates emotional themes of caregiving, Alzheimer's, and euthanasia, but Cynthia's use of characterization and light humor make it an uplifting and enjoyable read. Forgiveness and mercy, finding hope when things are difficult - these are also key themes, and readers who have been or will eventually be caring for a loved one will especially connect with this story.
We discover from the beginning that Becca yearns to belong, and sees something she admires in Isaac's family: "Not all households operated as her father's did. Not all moms left too soon. Not all parents got lost in an illness and forgot they had a daughter." It was fun to watch the growing friendship, trust and love between Isaac and Becca. I can't imagine what dealing with Alzheimer's must be like, but I loved the way Becca treated Aurelia. Geneva, Aurelia's sister, is a strong supporting character that I would love to spend more time with.
I loved the scene where Aurelia shares a verse she treasures with Becca, Isaiah 49:16 - "I have engraved your name on the palm of My Hands, saith the Lord." This so beautifully encapsulates the story's theme of belonging. Becca also learns about a grace that has "nothing to do with what we deserve and everything to do with an irrepressible love in the heart of God, a God whose haunting 'Come to Me' sounded so different from her father's attempts to push her aside."
All My Belongings deals with what could be weighty, depressing issues with a light, sometimes humorous, touch. I've always thought that life would be so much easier if things were black and white, but they're not, and Cynthia beautifully captures those grey areas. I recommend All My Belongings to those who enjoy a touching story of faith and romance.
All My Belongings can be purchased online at CBD, DeeperShopping, Amazon, and B&N.
Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with "Heartbeat of the Home" radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.
Meet Cynthia online at www.cynthiaruchti.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. You can also learn more on the Litfuse tour page.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.