They Almost Always Come Home is different than anything I've ever read before. The main character, Libby, is contemplating leaving her husband. So when he didn't return from a camping trip, she was actually mad that she didn't get the chance to do it. Her mind raced with the what-ifs and it seemed the only people who took his disappearance seriously were her husband's father, her best friend, and Libby...but for Libby it was mainly because she wanted to know why. Their marriage had nailed some significant potholes in the past that ruined their alignment as a couple. Instead of supporting each other, Libby blamed her husband, who withdrew emotionally because he blamed himself and didn't know how to fix what had broken in their marriage.
I loved the first line of this book. It made me smile because I've thought similar things when my husband was late coming home. He's much older than I am so my mind would often race with the what ifs, just like Libby's had. The premise of this story was unique and intriguing. At first when the trio search party headed out looking for Libby's husband, I was pulled in and coasting along. But because I'm not much of a camper I started to lose interest in that aspect of the story. But I hung in there and was glad that I did.
Ruchti's use of snarky internal dialog through Libby's point of view helped keep the story real and interesting. I loved how the story shifted to a different perspective toward the end and how it also showed another side to the situation. I also enjoyed watching God work in these characters' hearts. The relationship between Libby, her father-in-law, and her best friend exemplified real love and commitment. I was deeply involved in their dilemma. Should they give up and turn back, or keep pressing on? Life is often like that and it paralleled this story in many surprising ways. They Almost Always Come Home is a great example of perseverance in the Christian life and how God will carry us through. Cynthia Ruchti was the perfect author to share this life-transforming tale.