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5 Stars Out Of 5
Best book I have read so far this year!
March 17, 2014
Let me tell you all about a book I just finished a couple weeks ago that is already on my "Best Books I've Read in 2014" list!
I love Cynthia Ruchti's fiction and non-fiction alike, but this book and its characters grabbed me and won't let go. And that is the way to tell a great book--one that the characters stay with you, and you keep thinking about them and wondering about them after you close the covers!
I don't know how she did it, but in When the Morning Glory Blooms, the author managed to blend the many stories of characters from the 1890s with some from 1951 and the present, then tie them all together so beautifully at the end. Each character is not only from a different decade, but at different places in their lives and faith journeys.
Although fiction, this is a true-to-life story with sin and its consequences mixed with God's mercy and grace. It shows how our lives are affected by those around us, and more importantly, how our lives can affect so many others whether we are aware of it or not.
So, run out and buy, beg, or borrow a copy of this book so you can meet the woman who runs a home for unwed mothers, a grandmother taking care of her teen-age daughter's baby, and a nurse's aid who is carrying the child of a man fighting overseas. Since this book is about mothers and daughters and all the women who love and nurture us, it would make a great gift for Mother's Day in a few weeks, so buy one for yourself and for some women who are special to you!
Author Cynthia Ruchti once again has given us a novel that is as unique as it is stunningly written. Like the delicate vines of the book's title, The Morning Glory Blooms intertwines the stories of three very different women: Becky Trundle, Ivy Carrington, and Anna Grissom.
The novel spans like an epic with stories from the 1800s to today. Each story begins at pivotal, life-changing moments for the women.
The contemporary character, Becky is dealing with her new normal. She is now grandmother to her unwed, teenage daughter's adorable son, Jackson. Still in high school, Lauren finds a convenient arrangement with living at home as she completes high schoolÃ¢â¬âleaving her mom with the bulk of Jackson's childcare. Becky's new routine has impacted her in more ways than changing diapersÃ¢â¬âher friends and relationships have changed as wellÃ¢â¬âand not necessarily in a good way.
We meet Ivy in 1951. Ivy is a young woman who carries a secret in her wombÃ¢â¬âa secret she did not share with her boyfriend before he deployed to fight in Korea. She has told no oneÃ¢â¬ânot even her father with whom she shares a dreary apartment.
Until, that is, Ivy gets to know one of the residents of the nursing home where she works. The quirky old woman has an uncanny way of reading Ivy like a dime store novel. This odd womanÃ¢â¬âwho nearly bullies Ivy into transcribing her autobiographyÃ¢â¬âis our third character, Anna.
As Ivy writes, Anna takes the story back to 1890. Anna inherits a once-elegant home destined to be more than a place for her to live. God has a unique and significant purpose for Anna and the house that will cause as much controversy as it does good. The home would provide sanctuary and refuge to unwed mothers.
As each of the women's stories develop, a beautiful thread of hope weaves itself into the lives of Becky, Ivy, and Anna. Not easy answers and platitudesÃ¢â¬âjust pure, sweet hope.
Ruchti writes with heart, reality, and generosity. Readers will come away with more than a great book to keep in their library; they will come away with an itch to examine their own lives to see where God might be leading them.
Gripping multi-generational story laced with grace
May 29, 2013
Cynthia is a gifted writer. She writes from deep places and that pulls me deep into the pages of her books. Her first, They Almost Always Come Home, was not an easy read because of the subject. Yet I couldn't put it down. When the Morning Glory Blooms is even better. Between the covers she weaves compelling stories about four women and how in different times they each deal with unplanned pregnancies. Grace stitches the story together while hope sings from its pages. This is a book to savor, weep over, and pray through. I adored it.
Another great book from Cynthia Ruchti. This one tells the stories of three women, each from a different generation, who deal with the consequences of unplanned pregnancies. The reader gains wisdom and compassion through the life story of Anna who opens a home for unwed mothers in the 1890's.
My favorite part of the whole book is when Anna likens God's care for these young ladies who made unwise choices to His care for sparrows. At one point, a sparrow flies into the home through the open doors and frantic efforts to get it out of the house result in the bird smacking into a closed window. As it lays flopping on the floor, one of the residents calls it a stupid bird. Anna's response: "That was its problem a few seconds ago. Now its problem is pain." Anna recognizes the similarities between the bird and the girls of her home. Their unwise choices result in painful consequences. The world sees them only as fallen and ignores their pain. "The world they faced did not know that the sound of our falling is the call that sends Him to catch us."
Beautifully written, this book is an inspiring call to believers to put away our judgment and instead show Christ's love to the fallen--to bind up the wounds as Jesus did for the woman caught in adultery, the lepers, the tax collectors, the sinners.
An inspirational MUST READ novel!!! 3 books in 1!!
April 14, 2013
It's great when you open a novel and find not only one compelling story inside but three all woven together in different ways. In the novel, When the Morning Glory Blooms, author Cynthia Ruchti introduces the reader to three women in different time periods. We meet Becky Trundle in 2013 who is dealing with the unexpected pregnancy and birth of her grandson, Jackson. Her daughter Lauren is still in high school and finds a suitable arrangement with living at home, finishing school and having her mom, Becky babysit and care for Jackson. Becky struggles with wondering how much she is enabling Lauren instead of having her come to terms with being a new mom and how to be a good role model as a Christian. Becky soon has her own struggle when she turns on her friend Monica who can't seem to understand why Becky is catering to Lauren.
Next we are introduced to Ivy Carrington in 1951 who is struggling with the recent departure of her boyfriend, Drew Lambert who has left to join the war in Korea. What she has failed to tell him is that she is now pregnant and fears what might happen to him if she writes him to tell him the good news. So instead she keeps the information to herself and continues to find solace in the company of Anna Grissom, an elderly lady in the nursing home when Ivy is employed. Anna has asked Ivy to capture her life story in a journal before she dies and along the way dispenses much needed wisdom to Ivy in ways she could have never imagined.
The last woman we meet is Anna Grissom who takes us back to 1890 when she was trying to establish a ministry of sorts to care for the young women who needed a place to stay that were pregnant. Back in those days, most families would cast aside the young girls and soon they had no place to go and now home to care for their children. Anna soon learns that no prayer is too little to ask for God's divine intervention when she inherits a dilapidated home belonging to her Aunt and attempts to turn it into something God can use to help these young women find hope again.
Throughout the novel, the story toggles back and forth in each of their wonderful women's lives and we can see not only their struggles but their perseverance to push through when the going gets tough. I especially found myself found of Anna. She was brought up in a time when there wasn't much available to help women who found themselves at the end of the bad choices they have made. Anna showed them what God looked like with skin on, and it touched the lives of so many women who never forgot what she did for them. Truly a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
I received When the Morning Glory Blooms compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my honest review. This is a beautiful novel that inspires hope and shows us what the grace of God really looks like. It's beautifully written and you truly can experience each of these women through the eyes of author Cynthia Ruchti in such powerful ways. I truly believe that everyone will take away something special through their journey in this novel. It has found a permanent place in my own personal library. The wonderful ending is so unexpected you will need a box of tissues to get through this one. For anyone who has ever wondered why life hands us situations we didn't necessarily want to deal with, this one will show you how to inspire hope in those who need it the most. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars!!!