Emmalyn and Max Ross may have to endure the fight of their lives to mend the tattered fabric of their marriage. His actions ensured she could never be a mother and put him in prison, giving their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out. On a self-imposed exile to beautiful but remote Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, Emmalyn has just a few months left to figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again. Nudged along by the exuberant owner of the Wild Iris Inn and Cafe, a circle of misfit people in their small town, and a young girl who desperately needs someone to love her, Emmalyn restores an island cottage that could become a home and begins to restore her heart by learning what it means to love unconditionally. Yet even as hope begins to find a place within the cottage walls, Emmalyn still wonders if she's ready for Max's release. She may be able to rebuild a cottage, but can she rebuild a marriage?
This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be, and I both loved it and disliked it at the same time.
I loved the redemption story that was, in my opinion, much of the basis of the whole story.I felt like I missed a lot of Emmalyn's background story since this book started with her arriving at the island for the first time. However, much of her background is later revealed throughout the book as she flashbacks to days before her husband was sent to prison.
Emmalyn took herself to this small island and was determined to make a life for herself. Through the rebuilding of the hunting cabin, Emmalyn really began to rebuild herself one project at a time. The people on the island that became her friends were some of the most unusual of characters, but each one of the drilled into Emmalyn a part of her that needed to be fixed.
The first half of the book was an easy read for me and kept moving at a great pace. About half way through I completely lost interest and had to make myself keep reading. But once a very unexpected person arrives into the story (hey, I'm not giving away spoilers here!), reading got much easier again and I found myself really into the story again.
I spent the entire book expecting something horrible to happen, and was happy when I got to the end and all tragic events had been avoided. I just wish the book would have held my interest for the entire time.
Overall, this was a good read. It was more on the serious side of things I normally read, but still an enjoyable book.
Taking multi-tasking to new heights (or depths, depending on your perspective), Cynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of recent releases "All My Belongings" (novel), "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (novel), and "Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices" (nonfiction). She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 42 years, loves on her three kids and five grandchildren, recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the eight already on the shelves. The year 2010 saw the release of her debut novel--"They Almost Always Come Home" by Abingdon Press (a Carol Award finalist)--and a Christmas collection novella, "The Heart's Harbor" in A Door County Christmas, a Family Fiction Reader's Choice, by Barbour Publishing. "His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not," released Nov 1, 2011. Another novella collection--"Cedar Creek Seasons" (Barbour) released in spring of 2012. "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (April 2013) was followed by "All My Belongings" (2014, also from Abingdon Press). Her books have recently been honored with two Selah Awards, two Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and awards from CAN Golden Scrolls and AWSA Golden Scrolls. She tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through writing and speaking, but she gave up knitting, counted cross-stitch, sewing her own clothes, naps, and dusting baseboards a long time ago. You can find her at www.cynthiaruchti.com, at www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea.