Ruchti has created an interesting novel that is a sort of adult coming of age story. Josiah, the main character, is a successful marriage counselor whose career skyrocketed. He is a popular seminar leader and bestselling author. He has been totally oblivious to the fact that his own marriage has been in trouble. When his wife is in an automobile accident, we are along with Josiah as he spends time in the hospital waiting room. His wife is unresponsive but he has interactions with others that shed light on his own marriage, especially how he has treated his wife.
I find it interesting when an author writes a novel with the main character of the opposite sex, as is the case here. I have no idea if the thoughts and actions of Josiah truly represent those of a male in this situation or if they are what we women desire a male would think and do.
I felt the novel got off to a rough start. The first chapter focuses on the jumbled thoughts of the wife before the accident. It seemed so jumbled and cryptic it was hard to follow. Facts come to light as the novel progresses that help explain that first chapter but I would have rather had it initially clearer. Otherwise, the first chapter could have been skipped all together and we readers find out the truth along with Josiah. Either way, I think I would have enjoyed the rest of the novel more.
Most of the novel consists of Josiah's thoughts and the transformation that results. Sometimes I felt the material was repetitive while at other times I was captivated. I found myself skimming paragraphs at times to see if his thoughts moved the plot forward or not.
I recommend this novel to those who like reading about the character transformation a husband goes through when he is forced to face the reality of his attitude toward his marriage and his wife. I am not sure it is a novel men would enjoy but I think women would find it a different yet satisfying romance. We women like to see this kind of transformation in a man who initially had his wife as part of a successful career, not as a friend and lover. There is a strong Christian message in the novel as faith becomes an important element in Josiah's transformation. Discussion questions are included so this novel would be a good choice for a reading group.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Cynthia Ruchti has written more than twenty award winning novels, novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals. She finds great joy in helping other writers and has been on staff and faculty for the Write-to-Publish conference and teaches at other writers' conferences across the country and internationally as opportunity arises. She also serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren. You can find out more at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.
Abingdon Press, 320 pages. You can find out more about the novel and buy a copy here.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review.