As Waters Gone By
About the Book:
Emmalyn Ross never thought a person could feel this alone. Sustaining a marriage with a man who’s not by her side is no easy task, especially since her husband currently resides behind impenetrable prison walls. His actions stole her heart’s desire and gave their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out. What didn’t fall apart that night fell apart in the intervening years.
Now, on a self-imposed exile to Madeline Island—one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior—Emmalyn starts rehabbing an old hunting cottage they’d purchased when life made sense. Restoring it may put a roof over her head, but a home needs more than a roof and walls, just as a marriage needs more than vows and a license. With only a handful of months before her husband is released, Emmalyn must figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again. And his silence isn’t helping.
What is it like to have a spouse in prison? For many, the answer is "I don't have a spouse in prison; I have an ex-spouse in prison". Emmalyn's husband is in prison for a crime he committed, but the action was not typical of his behavior. Emmalyn, unlike many spouses of convicts, remains faithful and hopes to pick up the pieces of her marriage when he gets home. Unfortunately, home as they knew it isn't theirs anymore due to financial problems, Emmalyn decides to move into a cottage her husband had used for hunting, a cottage far away from her critical and overbearing mother.
When Emmalyn arrives on Madeline Island, she meets Boozie, the owner of the local bed and breakfast. While Emmalyn has never really practiced religion, Boozie is a devout Christian and through Emmalyn's interactions with Boozie and other island inhabitants she comes to know Christ and to reach beyond herself to help those in need. She also comes to see that God has answered her prayers, just not in the way she wanted them answered. Emmalyn also learns that while in prison her husband has undergone a religious conversion too.
Obviously the book is Christian fiction, and if conversion stories aren't your thing, well, this book is one. However, it is not just a story of finding Jesus and everything being perfect in life. It is the story of a woman who was wallowing in self-pity, who in a lot of ways was in a prison of her own making, who by reaching out to others and by allowing others to reach her, broke through the bars in her life to the freedom God wanted for her.
Cynthia Ruchti is a talented writer who paints beautiful pictures both of landscapes and of the souls of people through her use of words. This book is a winner and I give it an A.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.