Author: Cynthia Ruchti
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 2, 2021
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 eight time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone and needy 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.
Reviewer: Raechel Kelly
This was definitely one of those books you experience rather than so much as read. It's hard to explain, and I'm not really certain how to write a review that could do the book justice.
For the majority of the book, I would sum it up as being 'sad.' And it is. But there is also light carefully woven into the threads of the novel, threads that grow stronger towards the end. Oh, and the ending was utterly beautiful. That, I think, may have been my favorite part - those last two chapters.
Facing the Dawn is a very real, raw story. The grief experienced by Mara, and the other characters as well, was downright palpable. At times it was heavy, and you could absolutely feel the exhaustion it caused the characters. I wouldn't have a hard time believing if each one of these characters were real people, the novel came across that realistic.
I loved Mara's friends, Ashlee and Sol. They were amazing support for the entire Jacobs family. And I love how Ashlee constantly encouraged Mara to seek after God, even when it was hard.
I would give a "trigger warning" to those who need it that this book deals heavily with grief, suicide, miscarriage, and depression. It is handled well, but nonetheless, very real.
I am impressed with how the book was written to be something you experience alongside the characters instead of just read about. It won't be a book you quickly forget.
A couple of things were either abrupt or not addressed, but life throws those things at us frequently, so it didn't feel too terribly out of line. I just would've liked to have seen a couple more things either talked out or resolved.
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group (Revell) through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Joan Dowell
This is the first time that I have read anything from Cynthia Ruchti and it sure won’t be the last. I truly enjoyed how the author pulls you into the story by attaching you to Mara Jacobs’ mind and heart. The feelings that Mara goes through are valid and are transferred from the page to your heart.
Mara goes through a life altering tragedy that changes her life forever. I really enjoyed the friendships that Mara had in her life to see her through this topsy-turvy situation. The glimpse of these friendships is a beautiful reminder that we don’t have to do life alone, or without faith.
I enjoyed reading Facing the Dawn. Mara’s tragic tale gives us a clear picture that no one should just give up. If you do, you may never know what God has in your future. The way the author connects to your emotions is phenomenal. You will need a box of tissues to get through this book.
I received a print copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews in return for my honest review.
Reviewer: Connie Porter Saunders
"Lord, give me a faith like hers, her mind whispered. Deep in her soul, a rumble responded, I did. Step into it."
Facing the Dawn is filled with beautiful words, overwhelming emotions, and characters that could be you and me. Mara Jacob's feelings are vividly portrayed as she journeys into the world of overwhelming grief. It appears that she will drown in a sea of sorrow as she copes with her husband's unexpected death, and shortly after, another tragic loss. Thankfully, she has people who love her, and they become her lifelines in her efforts to find solid footing.
This book has exceptional characters, and realistic situations but faith and hope are the keys to Facing the Dawn. Author Cynthia Ruchti has created a tale that is heart-tugging and heartbreaking, but ultimately, an encouraging and gratifying story! Ruchti shares many references to God and his Word, but she also offers meaningful and eye-opening observations.
Sacred and scared have the same letters.
"When life falls apart, God's Plan hasn't. It's still active but adds a soul-healing component."
Facing the Dawn is a hard book to read because it has all of the emotions we associate with death. It may make you cry, but it also shares a message of love and hope. It is a stunning book that will stay with me for a long time, and I highly recommend it to all who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction.
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
I wanted to read this book because Cynthia Ruchti is a very detailed author. I was not disappointed.
The book's cover made me wonder how it would play out in the story, and it has a LOT to do with this story.
Mara Jacobs has her hands full because she is like a single parent raising two teenagers and a 12-year-old while her husband is in another country digging wells to provide clean water to impoverished people. Mara is a very independent woman who likes to provide goodies for her children's schools while also having a part-time job at a cheese factory. Mara did not realize it would be this hard to take care of all that she has to do. She is really stressed.
At first, I thought I would not enjoy this book because Mara was so stressed. As I continued to read it, I started to empathize with Mara so much. Oh, what Mara had to deal with! She had a son that was troubled and had a parole officer. She had a daughter that got pregnant and lost the baby, and she has a 12-year-old son who internalizes everything and feels guilty that his father is not home.
Poor Mara had big-time grief! She was a Christian who kind of lost her way. I am so very thankful that Mara had a friend in Ashlee. Ashlee also had grief in her life and knew what Mara was going through. Ashlee really trusted in God and did not let Mara continue in her grief. Ashlee got Mara to start walking with her, and Ashlee was very creative and brought out Mara's abilities to create even though grieving. Ashlee was a true friend - one can only hope that a friend like this is there for us. Of course, Jesus is our true friend!
Chelsea, Mara's daughter, began a path back to the Lord Jesus Christ and to see that happening in her life was so refreshing. She became very active in her youth group and enjoyed singing, too. There is a sweet story about Chelsea's life.
Mara had a dear friend in Solomon even though Mara showed her fiercely independent ways. Sol plays a big part in helping Mara get through her grief. Sol is a great handyman, and Mara really needs someone to get her home in order.
I do not want to give away details that I feel should really be read to understand Mara's struggle in dealing with her life after a tragedy. The author covered it very well and in great detail.
It will be hard to read some parts of this book, not because it is inappropriate in any way. It is just so much tragedy. Please stay with the story. You will not be disappointed.
I give this author 5 stars - God was in control and always is if we trust in Him!
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews.
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