PW Starred Review!
A Fragile Hope
Ruchti (Song of Silence) creates a brilliant portrait of a man who is forced to question everything he thought he knew. Josiah Chamberlain, marriage counselor and bestselling author, thought he had a happy marriage. His wife, Karin, had a different opinion and made plans to leave. When a tragic car crash changes those plans, Josiah is forced to confront the reality of his life and the secrets his wife was keeping. He must make excruciating choices and wrestle with God, his faith, and an unfeeling money-hungry literary agent who orders him to start working on his next book. The choice to tell this story in limited third person is a major key to its success, creating a profoundly intimate portrayal. The vast majority of the story takes place inside Josiah’s head; readers watch the action while also experiencing it through Josiah’s eyes and heart. The reader simply cannot turn away from either the outside drama or the journey of self-discovery. Ruchti, who professes to write stories “hemmed in hope,” delivers an amazing rumination on what it means to hope when all seems lost.
Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?
“Captured by each nugget of wisdom in A Fragile Hope, I suddenly realized—this is more than a novel. While it is the gripping story of a self-absorbed, self-righteous man and his unexpected journey out of despair and crippling fears; it’s also a powerful means to help us confront our own hypocrisy, insecurity and struggles when we “do life” in our own strength and with our own agenda. Cynthia calls readers to hope-filled choices today that will change their lives, homes and ministries for years to come. She scattered seeds of hope in my own heart that are already taking root. And I am grateful.” ~ Dawn Wilson, founder, Heart Choices Today, and writer at Crosswalk.com.
“Cynthia captured the deeply-rooted pain of a marriage in trouble and the sometimes slow crawl back to hope. No matter what the marital status of readers, they will find A Fragile Hope to be a compelling look at the human condition with all its raw and frayed edges told in Ruchti’s signature tender storytelling style.” – Georgia Shaffer, Credentialed Life Coach, PA licensed psychologist and author of Taking Out Your Emotional Trash
“As a devoted non-fiction reader, when I read the description of the novel A Fragile Hope, I never thought it would be a page turner but I was so wrong. Cynthia Ruchti is a master story teller as she drew me into the character’s lives and compelled me to “read just one more chapter.” But it was not just a fantastic story. Because of A Fragile Hope I will never experience the Lord’s Supper the same.” -Becky Turner, National Managing Partner for The Barnabas Group
“A Fragile Hope is like reading the intimate diary of a marriage in crisis. Without losing an ounce of impact, Cynthia Ruchti gently navigates through the heart wrenching journey of one man’s crash course in faith, hope, and everything his books and degrees tell him he knows about marriage. A Fragile Hope is a story of triumph through pain, even when the outcome looks nothing like you imagined it could. Well done!” – Allison M. Wilson – Lifepoint Church of Palm Bay, FL – Marriage Ministry Team
“Exquisite storyteller Cynthia Ruchti has accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of beautifully portraying the inner struggles of a man on the edge of decisions that will forever change reality for all those he loves. I simply could not put down A Fragile Hope, because, after all, everyone is seeking hope in the end. Must read!” -Lucinda Secrest McDowell, Author “Dwelling Places” EncouragingWords.net
“Josiah Chamberlain’s climb to success is interrupted by tragedy compounded by bewilderment. I disliked him but couldn’t stop turning the pages because my heart empathized and identified. Ultimately, I cheered him forward. A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti takes you to depths and heights and ultimately to truth and hope. This book is your must-read this year.” – Karen Porter, Author, Speaker, Coach
“Master storyteller Cynthia Ruchti demonstrates a unique ability to weave tenderness with life-changing truth in her novel A Fragile Hope. It offers more than a good read. It offers answers for those seeking the path to forgiveness and longing for hope in the midst of seeming impossibilities.” — Grace Fox, international speaker and author of Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation
“Books either grab you or they don’t. A Fragile Hope grabbed me by the throat with the first line and never let go. Cynthia Ruchti always writes heart books but I was not sure if this was going to end the way I wanted. I so feared for those characters. Try A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti and then go after her other books.” – Lauraine Snelling, best-selling author
“This book grabs you in the first chapter, and never lets go. You’ll care for the people on these pages, and you’ll grow with them as their hidden hearts are exposed. Honest truth: as I read A Fragile Hope, I laughed, I cried, I prayed and pondered, and I stopped and forgave someone. This book exposed my heart too, and I am grateful. Reading this book will herd you toward change and hope. Although this is fiction, it is a story of truth – a sturdy story of redemption and answered prayer. Read this book and breathe in hope.” – Betsy A. Barber, PsyD, Assoc. Director Institute for Spiritual Transformation, Talbot School of Theology, Director Center for Spiritual Renewal, Biola University, Assoc. Professor, Talbot
“You know those sweet little stories you read at night to help you fall asleep? This isn’t one of them. Be warned–and armed–before you start reading A Fragile Hope. Warned that Karin and Josiah’s story will capture a can’t-put-it-down chunk of your time . . . and a piece of your heart, and armed with a box of Kleenex and a friend or book club to talk to when you finish. This book will stir the fragile hope in all of us.” – Becky Melby, author
“Five star, award-winning author, Cynthia Ruchti, writes A Fragile Hope with the depth that leaves a lasting imprint. Ruchti delivers a heartwarming/heart-wrenching drama filled with wisdom and inspiration closely in tune with God. A must read!” – Dianne Burnett, Publishers Weekly reviewer
“A Fragile Hope has characters that will linger in your mind and spiritual truths that will settle deep into your heart. A tender, moving story of forgiveness and grace. Cynthia Ruchti never disappoints! – Kathryn Springer, award-winning author of The Dandelion Field and The Hearts We Mend.
“A Fragile Hope is an emotionally gripping story of a man’s realization of his own failure in his marriage. Through trauma and life’s difficulties, lessons are learned regarding faith, hope, and love. This is another excellent story woven with life application by Cynthia Ruchti.” – Susan Titus Osborn, author of over 30 books