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All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti

All My Belongings

by Cynthia Ruchti

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My Thoughts ~

A word artisan of beauty, wit and wisdom, Ms Ruchti uses a light touch in developing thoughtful responses to deep topics of belonging, dementia related caregiving, child neglect, and euthenasia.
Rich layering of story and concepts
create a story that emotionally engage
readers with characters.
Jayne must change her name to escape the staining of her father's murder charges on her own reputation. Her dearest friend, Geneva, assists her in the requisite subterfuge to escape the media attention that would tie her to a future without freedom. Geneva's sister, across the country in California, needs caregiving. Newly re-named as Becca, she is all eagerness to take the journey into anonymity. A chance at a future free of encumbrances awaits her. Or does it...?

New location, relationships, and a stirring sense of belonging take a turn in the wrong direction when false accusations point to Becca upon
the mysterious death of her charge. Her own false guilt, inner struggles, and misgivings add complexities to her future and intrigue for mystery buffs reading

Ambiguities of belonging, for both Becca and Isaac, her heart's attachment, are well developed. The story is pleasingly resolved for our two MCs and surprise turns of events that had me anxious for their future ended by leading to satisfying conclusions.

Definitely recommended and a perfect summer read!

**My appreciation to Abingdon Press for providing an ebook copy for reading and review without obligation or compensation. ( )
  FHC | Jun 22, 2014 |
"Longings trump belongings any day."

Becca Marrow didn't have much in the way of belongings but even worse was her feeling of NOT belonging. When her mother became sick from a soul-stripping and terminal illness called ALS, not only did it eventually take her mother's life but it also took Becca's childhood as she knew it. Just when Becca didn't think her life could get any worse, one life-altering act has her hiding from the past that threatens to destroy her. Eventually Becca learns that no amount of distance or lies can help her hide from a past full of heartache and shame but that it's in acceptance that determines who you'll be tomorrow.

"She laid Aurelia's Bible on the comforter on her bed. The Comforter on the comforter. Someone should paint a picture of that."

All My Belongings is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Becca, being a caregiver more than once throughout this book really spoke to the heart of me as a caregiver myself. While caring for a sick loved one can be an arduous task, this book really magnified the beauty of it also. It really helped me see areas where I could improve, especially when I lack patience after long hours of taking care of my mother. It's a very heart-wrenching story practically from the very beginning but there are moments of beauty and laughter, too. While you will need tissues you'll also find yourself smiling when least expected.

"Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." ~Isaiah 49:16

This book is about so many things. It's about finding love even in the things that seem burdensome. Learning to forgive when your life had been shattered. Being a victor and not a victim. Finding hope when you feel there is none. Realizing that, even though you feel like you don't belong, you have always belonged with the One that has loved you since before you were born. This book is so beautifully written and the little spots that brought a smile to my face were dispersed perfectly throughout the story to relieve the emotional tug on my heart strings.

"Guacamole - Some things are better after they've been pulverized."

The main characters were amazing and the storyline couldn't have been more perfect. I enjoyed being a part of their life's and will take many Blessings with me. It also contains a little suspense and mystery which I am a fan of. I am so glad I read this book. If you're a caregiver you will appreciate this story very much and it will Bless you many times over. If you have ever had a feeling of not belonging or feeling lost you will love this story and be Blessed by it. But you don't have to be either to love this story. It will speak to the heart in ways that will leave you feeling energized and inspired to be every thing God made you to be. I very highly recommend it to anyone that just loves a great inspirational book!

"Time is short. Love is forever. Use both well."

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review and no monetary compensation was received. ( )
  Wanda_Barefoot | Jun 12, 2014 |
First off I have to say I love the beautiful cover, it fits so well. This is a wonderful story of true forgiveness, I don't know that I would've done what Becca did, especially being newly married. (I won't give that part away).

She left her hometown to start a new life where no one will ever know who she really is. She meets Isaac, they fall in love and get married. Then her identity is blown and she's asked to do things that would be hard for most.

I read the book in one day and I will say I enjoyed my day off! I thank God for putting such talent in the author that brings joy to so many. Yes, I loved the book and highly recommend it to anyone that loves to read.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  JoyAnne | Jun 12, 2014 |
I had the chance to talk to Cynthia Ruchti when her first novel, They Almost Always Come Home, debuted. She was my very first interview and was such a joy to speak with. So I was more than a little excited to read her newest novel, All My Belongings. Filled with great characters and insights that will keep you thinking long after you close the cover, All My Belongings is one I will not hesitate to recommend.

Jayne Denegee has a name that no one will forget. Her father has just been sentenced for the murder of her mother and is facing other charges based on other mercy killings. Feeling like she will always be judged for her father’s sins, Jayne changes her name to Becca Morrow and travels across the country to escape the identity that haunts her. On the recommendation of her dear friend she takes a job caring for the seriously ill mother of real estate agent Isaac. Their relationship quickly changes from employee/employer to something much deeper. But soon the foundation that is built on lies crumbles under the reality of Jayne’s past.

All My Belongings is a story of new beginnings, second chances and search for identity. Both Jayne/Becca and Isaac are looking for who they are apart from their family. But Becca is trying to escape her past, while Isaac is searching for who he really is outside of his adoptive family. There is also the very powerful message of the value of a life lived to the very end. In describing her father, Becca states that “he didn’t understand the value of letting God decide the length of our days”. Ruchti did a great job of portraying the sacredness of life even amidst the suffering that many face. She articulated a truth that is hard to express and even harder to live out.

All My Belongings has a lot going for it. Ruchti’s writing style is fresh and flows across the page. It is at once a romance, a suspense-filled mystery and a thoughtful exploration of life and death in the hands of God. And it has characters you will come to love. Perfect for a book club discussion, I highly recommend it.

Highly Recommended.

Great For Book Clubs.

(Thanks to Abingdon and LitFuse for my review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jun 3, 2014 |
I've never been one to lie or hide the truth. I simply can't do it. But what if I had to? What if I were the daughter of an infamous person that I couldn't bear to be compared to - that wouldn't be fair to be compared to? I might be tempted to do the same thing Becca Morrow did.

Changing her name didn't seem like it would be that much of a big deal. Change it legally and people couldn't - nay, wouldn't - lump you with your Kevorkian-like father. But, sd Sir Walter Scott said so eloquently, "oh what a tangle web we weave, when we first practice to deceive." And things can't help but unravel for poor Becca.

I very very much enjoyed this novel. There were some hard-hitting questions of morality, forgiveness, making rash judgments because of someone's family connections that really make you stop and consider how you yourself treat others in hard situations. Things that make you question if you could do the same as Becca. Or would you be more like Isaac and Geneva? Or Tony? This is a read slowly type of book. One that will give you plenty of things to pause and reflect on as you turn the pages.

*My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not required they be positive.* ( )
  AmandaWrites | May 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Becca's tale is complicated and heartrending, including a childhood void of love or support Her care-giving duties for her dying mother are thwarted when her father ends her mother's life with his Kevorkian-style method. A nursing school student, she is denied re-entry into the program because of her father's guilt and jail sentence for his mercy killings. Upon hearing from her nephew that her elderly sister is dying, an older friend of Becca's recommends her as caregiver. Becca changes her identity and a journey leads her halfway across the country to a life far from the past that haunts her. Her compassionate nature and sensitivity brighten the Hughes household as she finds ways to bring comfort and cheer to the elderly Mrs. Hughes during her last days, lifting the responsibility from her son who owns a successful real estate agency.

All My Belongings is a beautifully descriptive, inspirational novel penned with compassion, elegance and passion. Cynthia Ruchti displays tremendous insight once again in this emotionally charged, intensely sensitive narrative of family dynamics, death and dying and starting over. The development of Becca's faith life is beautifully illustrated throughout the details in the relationships in this novel. Acceptance and forgiveness are strong elements that come to fruition in this inspiring story. The topics of mercy killing, adoption, deception and grief are blended with elements of humor, romance and beauty. I highly recommend this deeply moving story of life, death and new beginnings.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
added by NanceeM | editReviewer, Nancee Marchinowski (Jun 10, 2014)
Excitement bubbled within me when I chose Cynthia Ruchti’s newest publication, “All My Belongings” to read. One of first books I won in a giveaway and read on my new Kindle in 2010 was Ms. Ruchti’s debut novel “They Almost Always Come Home.” It was apparent to me then that Cynthia Ruchti was chock-full of the genuine writer’s spirit

This story is an exceptionally uncommon plot and especially imaginative in detail. The subject matter was a total surprise …..unexpected as so rarely considered a writing topic, except possibly to true experiences reported in the news or horror stories – however my attention was swiftly captured.

At first my mind could not relate to all the changes Jayne Dennagree, AKA Becca Morrow made in her life to run away with the intention to disappear - even from herself. She really had no choice being the type of person she was to reveal what she had witnessed and blame her father for causing her mother’s death. She had done a very brave and honorable thing – although some might consider her a snitch…..after all, her dad had gone to prison for life.

The plot begins to thicken when Becca is interviewed by handsome lawyer Isaac Hughes for a caregiver position to his ill and aging mother Aurelia. Becca’s experience of giving care to her mother’s ALS disease gave her the courage to accept the position to care for Aurelia’s Alzheimer’s condition. Becca learns that she can feel new long forgotten emotion of compassion and love, including romantic sensations toward Isaac. Her life has only begun to settle into some normalcy when Aurelia suddenly mysteriously dies and Becca finds herself as the suspect in a murder investigation. Ms. Ruchti’s writing throughout this novel is brilliantly executed with twists and turns of love, compassion, mystery and suspense played out through excellent characterizations of the players she created.

Becca, after going through heartache, healing and disappointment, illogical happenings, and the journey of life choices soon leads to a beautiful conversion to believing in God…. only after Becca’s realization that she could love and trust another in commitment.

Assuming everyone wants a happy ending, the story is not finished…there is yet a surprise waiting in relation to another suspenseful matter from Becca’s past. Be prepared for your own emotions to be tendered when Becca becomes the instructor on remarkable forgiveness. Ms. Ruchti, you do not disappoint your readers ...an excellent read...our redeemer has blessed your pen indeed. I look forward to what you will think up next to entertain the reading crowd with the blessing of your distinctive panache.

I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
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A new identity can?t protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away. Where do you turn when changing your name doesn?t give you the anonymity you want? When running hundreds of miles away isn?t far enough? When your search for a place to belong lands you right back where you began? One phone call destroys all the hope Becca Morrow has for a life beyond the shame of her past. Further discredited by the death of her elderly, ailing patient?the mother of the influential businessman, Isaac Hughes?Becca?s new life is shattered and her longing for love slips away. Working to clear her name, Becca must learn to see the beauty in the ugliness of dying, to accept the tenderness in forgiveness, and?at last?discover that where she belongs isn?t as much about her family history as it is about her faith in the One to whom she?ll always belong.--… (more)

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