Spoilers in the book description ...
Jayne Denneagee, daughter of the latest Doctor (pharmacist?) Death, changes her name and moves to California in an effort to escape her Father’s notoriety. As Becca Morrow, she gets a job caring for Aurelia Hughes, an old lady suffering from Alzheimers, which brings her on constant contact with Aurelia’s son, Isaac. Isaac likes Becca, but finds her hard to get to know—she’s very private, although he does find out she’s lost both her parents.
The problem is that Jayne/Becca isn’t a good liar, a personality trait that would be positive if she wasn’t building her whole existence on the lie of being Becca Morrow. As it was, it soon got old and I was left wondering when Isaac would catch her out. But then came the halfway point of All My Belongings and what should have been a huge plot twist … if it wasn’t part of the Amazon book description. The next few chapters were, unsurprisingly, predictable. Then the 90% mark came, along with another plot twist—also revealed in the book description. Please, publishers, the book description is supposed to hook us into wanting to read the book, not give away the major plot points.
I wasn’t enjoying the story even before the spoilers. I found the writing style rather distant, which made it hard to connect with any of the main characters (it might have worked better written in first person, rather than the more traditional third person). I often found myself stopping to reread sentences or paragraphs, because the language was more literary than is normal in Christian fiction. It ranged from beautiful, through deliberately vague, all the way to incomprehensible—it felt as though it was trying too hard.
And there was little to distinguish between Becca and Isaac as viewpoint characters. Becca’s introspective nature was understandable given her past, but it made it difficult to see any character development or personal transformation. Isaac was so introspective it was difficult to believe he was a successful real estate salesperson. The combination meant the romance element of the plot didn’t ring true for me, and the mystery element was solved almost as soon as it was introduced (the funeral scene pretty much shouted, “X did it!!”).
The plot had potential, the minor characters were well-written, and I liked the way the author wove the Christian themes into the book. But I just didn’t connect with the characters and that makes it difficult to enjoy a novel, especially a romance.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook from review.
Cynthia Ruchti asks what it takes to overcome your past and become who you were meant to be in her latest novel, All My Belongings. Cynthia has woven a heart-wrenching tale of forgiveness, grace, and learning what it means to truly belong.
Cynthia is celebrating the release of her latest novel with a fun giveaway and a live webcast event!
One winner will receive:
- A $200 Visa cash card
- All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti
So grab your copy of All My Belongings and join Cynthia and friends on the evening of June 11th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)