As Waters Gone By

As Waters Gone ByAs Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti
Genres: Contemporary
Published by Abingdon Press on May 5, 2015
Pages: 304
Also by this author: An Endless Christmas, Song of Silence

 

Emmalyn’s life has not turned out the way she planned. What went from a happy marriage with a bright future, quickly went to a lonely, secluded future because of one bad decision. Her husband Max is serving a five year prison sentence and she’s unable to keep their house any longer. Wanting to seclude herself and heal, she heads to the cottage her and her husband purchased when they first met. At the cottage, she finds healing and more importantly, Hope.

Cynthia is a new author to me so I was a little unsure when getting started. I have to say I really enjoyed the story, but it was a bit “gloomy” for lack of a better word. Much of it seemed so full of sorrow and sadness, it was really heavy at times. However, on the other hand, it was also full of hope and healing.

Bougie really was a great model for how all Christians should try to live.

I loved Bougie’s character. “Grace always outweighs gravity.” Her knack of always knowing what one needed, her heart for healing others without it being right in their face, and her unending generosity. “Sometimes caring feels like spoiling. Gratitude evens things out.” Oh, I loved that line! She really was a great model for how all Christians should try to live.

Despite it being pretty deep in some places, I was inspired by the tokens of grace throughout.

I also thought it was really neat how Cora showed Emmalyn how everyone, including herself, gets upset sometimes, despite knowing she really shouldn’t. We’re human and sometimes get selfish. Doesn’t mean we’re bad people, simply means we need to guard ourselves so that we don’t hurt others by expressing our thoughts out loud to anyone willing to listen. “The Semper Fi wife of a military man on deployment to one of the most dangerous places on earth would dare get angry with a guy giving his life for his country?” Wow, what a statement. However, just because Cora is a military wife doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her own frustrations. My heart was touched by this interaction between Cora and Emmalyn!

The name that Emmalyn decided for the cottage, just perfect! I love it! The name ties the title and the story together just beautifully! Despite it being pretty deep in some places, I was inspired by the tokens of grace throughout. “Whatever voice you’re listening to, it better be the one saying, ‘I’ve got this. Trust Me.’ If it’s telling you you’ve failed…, it’s lying.” How can that not just be the most uplifting thing to read?

–Jodie


For Emmalyn, the last five years have been trying. With her husband, Max, in prison, her business closed, and her finances shaky, Emmalyn decides to move to Madeline Island. However, her self-imposed exile isn’t quite what she expected when she encounters the eccentric owner for the Wild Iris Inn. Young, exuberant, and abounding in love, Boughie Unfortunate is just what Emmalyn needs to get started rebuilding not only the lakeside cottage she hopes to live in, but also her relationship with Max. Can the five years of separation, shattered dreams, and raw hurts be healed and the pieces of their lives reassembled? In Cynthia Ruchti’s captivating style of grace and tragedy, As Waters Gone By is a beautiful story of hope from the ashes of a shattered life.

As Waters Gone By is a beautiful story of hope from the ashes of a shattered life.

Every time I finish one of Cynthia’s books, I wonder what it is about her writing that keeps me returning to a genre I rarely read. Contemporary fiction hardly ever works for me, but Cynthia’s books do and I think it’s her down-to-earth, tell it like it is characters that love deeply and show God’s love more than any preacher could ever tell about. So each year, I look forward to picking up her newest release and settling in for a story that will bring tears to my eyes and hope to my heart.

Chynthia’s stories feature broken women who are a lot stronger than they think, difficult situations that truly no one wants to face, and a healthy dose of Jesus carrying everyone through the various trials that come their way.

In many ways, Cynthia’s books are very similar to each other. They feature broken women who are a lot stronger than they think, difficult situations that truly no one wants to face, and a healthy dose of Jesus carrying everyone through the various trials that come their way. But even with the similarities, each book feels fresh. The stories are each unique and the circumstances of the characters are real and easy for the readers to relate to.

In As Waters Gone By, Emmalyn is initially a little difficult to like due to what seems like an abundance of self-pity. However, it is easy to understand her struggles and while the reader might find her personality somewhat off-putting in the beginning, she does grow and becomes very likeable. On the other hand, Boughie is immediately likable, with her eccentric dress, huge heart, and bubbly personality, I think it’s safe to say that most people would love to have someone like her in their life. The supporting characters are wonderful as well. In fact, I’m sad to leave them behind. I would love for a sequel that explores Max and maybe a novella to catch up on Nick. There’s also Cora and Wayne that would be lovely to find out more about. So many great characters and potential stories, so few pages….

As Waters Gone By has some great spiritual content. While the themes are a little heavy and somewhat idealist, I love what is presented. In reality, it seems as though things rarely play out as they do in this book. However, the events that occur are not an impossibility and the hope and healing is certainly refreshing.

Perhaps I’m venturing into spoilers with this paragraph, but it’s hard to review this book without mentioning a central theme. While I enjoy Cynthia’s characters, stories, and spiritual themes that are in all her books, my favorite parts are always the relationships. Her characters tend to be faced with very difficult situations that have caused tremendous strains to their marriage. Without a doubt, Emmalyn and Max have massive obstacles to overcome, but their journey was so good to watch. The characters slowly transform and a relationship is established—regardless of whether or not it’s what they envisioned.

I finish very few books in two days, but As Waters Gone By kept me snuggled comfortably on the couch and responsibilities easily slipped away.

I finish very few books in two days, but As Waters Gone By kept me snuggled comfortably on the couch and responsibilities easily slipped away. The characters are engaging and the story touching, but best of all is vividly seeing our God take shattered pieces and put them back together again. Nothing is ever too broken for Him.

–Melissa

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