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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

While her humanitarian husband Liam has been digging wells in Africa, Mara Jacobs has been struggling. She knows she's supposed to feel a warm glow that her husband is nine time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But the reality is that she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone kids, failing at her to-repair list, and fading like a garment left too long in the sun. Then Liam's three-year absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara struggles to find her footing, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous, faith is fragile, and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved. With emotionally evocative prose that tackles tough topics with tenderness and hope, award-winning author Cynthia Ruchti invites you on a journey of the heart you won't soon forget.…

Facing the Dawn

by Cynthia Ruchti

Overall Book Review:

Facing the Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti lets you into the world of Mara Jacobs during one of the most difficult times in her life.  The way it is written is done masterfully.  Ruchti has a way of letting you gain insights into the characters through their thoughts and actions without coming straight out and telling you about them.  This is essentially a real time autobiographical journey readers are invited to share with Mara.

Readers will find Mara relatable and at times unbelievable.  In essence, Mara shows her humanity and vulnerability for all to see.  This is not the type of novel this reviewer typically enjoys, but something about how this was done was intriguing and also full of many great life lessons of forgiveness, faithfulness, love, and God’s hand in our lives.

The story is not exclusively focused on the devastating and intensely emotional themes of the book, but they play a huge part.  Mara’s character is incredibly vulnerable and yet strong and determined.  The characters in the book are so endearing that readers would not mind if they happen to show up in future stories.  This is a standalone novel, but the strongest message of the story is that we never stand alone.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Revell

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Report that a character took his life with a bullet to the head and chunks of his flesh were found on a wall; many references to the fact that a character is found dead from suicide resulting from a drug overdose; report of a twelve-year-old being beaten and receiving a bloody nose; indication that a child was physically abused by his father. 

Sex/Nudity:  Report of a teen pregnancy; non-married characters embrace and hold hands.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of close family members, suicide.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Teenager was a drug addict; character dies from a drug overdose.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I primarily read fiction from all genres. I have six children and many happy hours have been spent reading together. I also love quilting, hiking, and camping.