FACING THE DAWN by CYNTHIA RUCHTI

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.*

I’m not sure what I expected from this book, but the story was not at all what I anticipated. This review is spoiler-free, but I think it best for readers to know that this book is a little darker/heavier, especially in the beginning. The mood and tone shift as the story progresses, but there are a few events that might be triggering for some readers.

I’ve never read anything by this author, but once I adjusted to her writing style, I really enjoyed it. She writes in this third person stream of consciousness sort of way. I think I also really connected with Mara’s sarcastic sense of humor. The comedic aspects of this book brought levity to the deeper subjects.

Ruchti is clearly a talented storyteller. The book was very poetic and had deep themes woven throughout. The book stirred me both intellectually and artistically. As a hobby artist, I enjoyed the many ways art was explored and touched on in this book.

There were a few things that didn’t quite work for me. One, was the faith aspect. It didn’t always feel quite integrated. Ashlee, although she served as a great friend and catalyst for many things in this novel, would randomly have philosophical monologues that didn’t feel natural. Mara’s children had conversions that seemed too abrupt. Mara had more of a faith journey, but even hers felt a little odd to me (maybe partly from denomination/religious differences from my own). I also felt some things were touched on so quicky without being fully explored. Or events happened very fast and then were over before I had much time to be impacted by them as a reader.

 

Even so, there’s a lot of merit for this book. Mara’s journey was well crafted, and we are left with beautiful themes of friendship and healing.