Book Review, Author Interview and Giveaway: They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti

18 Jul

When Libby’s husband Greg fails to return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities soon write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn’t died.and if Greg hadn’t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance.if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What the trio discovers in the search upends Libby’s presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

My Impressions:

Cynthia Ruchti’s debut novel, They Almost Always Come Home, had me from the first page.  Libby’s husband, Greg, is late returning from a solo camping/canoeing trip, and she is already planning his funeral!  After it becomes apparent that her husband is not coming home and the authorities have no idea where he is, Libby, her best friend and father-in-law set out to retrace the trip Greg took into the wilds of the Quetico region of Canada.  Along the way, Libby discovers who her husband really is and in turn finds out who she is as well.

Ruchti’s novel is filled with the beauty of God’s creation and the realization of our place within it.  It is also a novel of discovery.  Perfect for a women’s book club, They Almost Always Come Home, will make you laugh, cry and wonder if your husband is really better than you thought he was.

Highly Recommended.

From the author’s website:

Cynthia Ruchti (pronounced rook – tee) served as president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) for the 2009-2010 term and now serves as ACFW’s Professional Relations Liaison. In 2007, she was the recipient of the ACFW Member Service Award. In 2008, Cynthia won second place for Women’s Fiction in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Contest.

Her debut novel They Almost Always Come Home released in spring 2010 from Abingdon Press. They Almost Always Come Home is a 2010 RT Book Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee.  Her novella – “The Heart’s Harbor”– released September 1, 2010 in the novella collection, A Door County Christmas from Barbour Publishing.

Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts. Her novels in progress include On the Night He Was BetrayedAll My BelongingsWhen the Morning Glory Blooms, and Afraid of the Light.

The radio broadcast Cynthia writes and produce – “The Heartbeat of the Home”–is celebrating its 31st year of ministry. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast airs on 14 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations. Cynthia is the editor of the ministry’sBackyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reaches 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

Cynthia’s articles have appeared in a number of publications and online resources, including Christian CommunicatorCharismaMarriage Partnership, ACFW’s Afictionado,CFOM, and others. Her essay “Reading by Flashlight, Writing by Heart” appears in Cup of Comfort for Writers. She also has an essay in Writing So Heaven Will Be Different, a compilation commemorating the 35th year of the Write-to-Publish writers conference. She writes a monthly column for Wisconsin Christian News and has written a number of feature articles for that publication.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 38 years of marriage, three grown children, and five exceptional grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she is the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team and Creative Arts team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.


Me and Cynthia Ruchti

I had the great pleasure to interview Cynthia Ruchti at the International Christian Retail Show on July 10.  She was my first ever interview and was so sweet and gracious that my nervousness was put to rest.

They Almost Always Come Home is Cynthia’s debut novel.  Previously she had a novella The Heart’s Harbor published in A Door County Christmas.

BTB:  Where did you get the inspiration for this story?

Cynthia:  My husband is a big outdoorsman and has canoed and camped in the Quetico region of Canada numerous times. About 10 years ago, he and my son Matt (then 21 years old) took a trip that led them deep into the back country of the Quetico. My husband became seriously ill and my son did the best he could taking care of him and keeping him stable.  About 8 canoeists were flagged down and given notes to take to the Ranger station alerting them of the situation.  They were so far away that it took the notes several days to reach the Rangers.  Finally, when word arrived of their plight, the winds were too high to send in a rescue plane.  Finally, when my husband’s condition was most critical, a plane was able to reach them and transport them to a small hospital.  Although my marriage was not like the one depicted in the novel, this experience gave me the initial idea for the book — What if your husband was missing, but you were not sure you wanted him back?  And the what if the answer is that your husband is actually a better man than you thought?

BTB:  What were your thoughts during your husband’s ordeal.

Cynthia:  I didn’t even know what was going on.  I was not contacted until my husband was taken to the hospital.  The hospital was in a very small town and consisted of 3 rooms.  They released my husband to me, much sooner than I thought wise, and I transported him back to our hometown.  It was a very long drive, in which I was charged with keeping him alive!

BTB:  Have you ever canoed/camped the Quetico yourself?

Cynthia:  My husband asked me several times to go with him on his trips. Normally when he went, I did things girl things with my daughter.  I finally consented to go with him and toughed it out!  

BTB:  The novel is mostly told from a first person perspective — Libby’s.  Was it hard to write this way?

Cynthia:  Originally, the novel was written in the 3rd person.  But it did not seem personal enough.  I worked hard to maintain a balance in perspective — showing Libby’s thoughts and feelings without it becoming “ego-centric”.

BTB:  What projects are you working on now?

Cynthia:  I have a devotional published by Summerside coming out November 1 titled His Grace Is Sufficient But Decaf Is Not and a novella from Barbour with a May 2012 publication date.  It will be part of the novella collection, Cedar Creek Seasons. My story takes place in the late autumn/Christmas season.  I am also in the writing stages of another project.

BTB:  You describe your grandchildren as exceptional.  Why?

Cynthia: (laughing) My grandchildren have such different personalities.  They are evidence of God’s grace, a blessing to others and watching them grow is a wonderful adventure.  Even their messes are adorable.


A big Thank You to Cynthia for sitting down with me last week.  She gave me a signed copy of They Almost Always Come Home that I am offering as a giveaway!  Just leave a comment, including your email address, on this post to be eligible to win.  The giveaway will end Sunday, July 31.

12 Responses to “Book Review, Author Interview and Giveaway: They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti”

  1. Cynthia July 18, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Thank you, Beckie, for spending time with me at ICRS, and for getting the word out about the books you read and review. Just two days after our interview, They Almost Always Come Home was nominated for a Carol Award! I hope your readers will choose to meet Libby in the pages of the book and take her journey with her. (For the record, I did make several trips to the Quetico with my husband. It’s a stunningly beautiful area, but definitely a “roughing it” experience–emotionally as well as physically.)

    • rbclibrary July 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      Congrats on the Carol award nomination. And I did correct the bit about your trips to the Quetico. Again, thanks for meeting with me.

  2. Mary July 18, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    The book sounds fantastic. A journey for life. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!

    mary_reiss @

  3. krystallarson July 18, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I love how you got your inspiration 🙂 This looks like a great novel, thank you for the giveaway! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  4. Sherry S. July 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I think this will be a very suspense filled and emotional book to read. I enjoyed the blurb and the interview.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  5. Cindy Swanson July 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    What a terrific review and interview! Sure, I’d love a copy… My e-mail address is

    I’d love for you to check out a new bloghop I’m hosting, called Bookish Images Monday. Stop by my blog to find out more!
    Cindy @ Cindy’s Book Club

    • rbclibrary July 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

      I stopped by your blog this morning and saw the hop. Looks great. I actually looked for some images to use. Have not found just the right one yet ;).

  6. Judy Burgi July 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I really enjoyed the interview with Cynthia. I would love to win a copy of her book, They Almost Always Come Home.


  7. Janelle July 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Really enjoyed your interview with Cynthia Ruchti. Would love to win a copy of They Almost Always Come Home.
    Best wishes and thanks for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.

  8. Marijo Taverne July 30, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    This book sounds most interesting. I loved the bit about hope that glows in the dark. I hope I win the copy!

  9. Cynthia July 31, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks for each comment, readers! And thanks again, Beckie!


  1. 2011 Carol Awards Finalists « BY THE BOOK - July 18, 2011

    […] Hope by Cathy Liggett (Tyndale Publishers – Jan Stob/Lorie Popp, Editors) They Almost Always Come Homeby Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon – Barbara Scott, Editor) Beyond Summer by Lisa Wingate (NAL – […]

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