Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.
Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.
When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees–and hears–everything.
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction, Christian
PUBLISHER: Abingdon Press
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2016
“Collapses hold to no schedules.”
One of the things I enjoy so much about Cynthia Ruchti’s books is her writing voice. It’s graciously down to earth with a dry wit that has me grinning even through tears, laughing even around the lump in my throat, and always always unable to put down the story until I’ve savored every word.
In keeping with this pattern, Song of Silence speaks to me on a very personal level in many ways. As a teacher. As a wife. As a woman whose life is not proceeding according to plan. My ecopy is riddled with highlighted passages that I don’t want to forget. Several made me laugh out loud. (“Was every marriage this schizophrenic? Warmth followed by subzero freezer chill? An act of sacrificial kindness followed by a desire to remove his nose hairs with pliers?” – So glad I’m not alone with these thoughts.) Several others are passages I am cherishing close to my heart because they remind me of the importance of silence… of rest … of finding new ways to sing when life steals my voice. (“In the silence, a song is brewing.”)
The characters in Song of Silence come vividly, charmingly, to life. Lucy and Charlie (i adore them both in their own ways). Olivia. Sam. The ladies of the HHATT club (hilarious). Dr. Hanley. Evan. Sasha (the wedding! the Keeper of our forevers. I love.) As the theme of music and silence play accompaniment to the plot, each of these characters has their own song to sing. They may not sing with words. Or even with music that can be heard. But together they are all players in an orchestra whose starring symphony resonates grace and hope and a lot of love.
Lucy and Charlie reflect a real and honest and witty and heartfelt “marriage in maturity”. It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it endures. They’ve had a lot of adjustments to make in recent years – Charlie’s early retirement (his passion for worm farming! hahaha!), Lucy’s forced retirement, the ebb and flow of their adult children’s lives, new family members that bring unexpected challenges. And then it really gets tough. Which is when it really gets beautiful.
There are several things going on in Song of Silence – multi-layered character arcs, life-changing events, poignant lessons. In the hands of some authors, this could easily turn into something about as chaotic as the sound that occurs when an orchestra is tuning up their instruments all together all at once. In Cynthia Ruchti’s talented hands, all of the chords and separate measures harmonize into an absolute masterpiece. And the character growth from beginning to end is just simply exquisite.
Bottom Line: With her exquisitely engaging style, each word in perfect pitch, Cynthia Ruchti creates a beautiful story of healing and humor and hope. A story for the forced-to-retire teacher, for the frustrated wife, for the mother of adult children. A story for everyone whose life failed to proceed according to plan. Vivid characters, wry wit, and gentle truth held me captive from the first page to the last. This is a book that will linger in my heart for a long time!
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic! A must read!
About the Author:
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in Hope through her novels, novellas, devotions, and nonfiction, and through speaking for women’s events/retreats and writers’ conferences/workshops. She draws from 33 years of experience writing and producing the 15-minute daily radio broadcast, “The Heartbeat of the Home.” Her books have received recognition from RT Reviewers’ Choice, PW Starred Review, Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, CLASSeminars Award of Excellence, Golden Scroll Awards, and more. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, is a board member of the Deliver Hope ministry, and is part of the worship team at her church. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Did you catch my interview with Cynthia earlier today? Hop over there for a chance to win a copy of Song of Silence!