The night I picked this book up, I read 3 or 4 chapters, set it down, turned off the light, and thought, "I don't like this book."
Maybe it hits a little too close to home. Although I'm not an empty nester (by any stretch of the imagination!) my children are starting to leave home. If Paul has his way, my "active duty" parenting term is already 2/3 over. I'm starting to wonder what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life.
Basically, Lucy loses her job and gets depressed. She has no respect for her husband, Charlie, whose every word and deed annoys her. Her adult daughter needs to move home. Then her adult son, Sam, springs a new fiancee on the family a week before the wedding. She wants to be happy for her son, but his new wife is deaf and brings an autistic child to the marriage. The complex that Sam lives in is a child free zone, so he brings his new little family home to live in mom and dad's basement. It's a lot for Lucy to take on, all at once.
She enters therapy, and her Nigerian, Yoda-like counselor suggests a group for women whose husbands are retired, and teaches Lucy to sign "Welcome to the family."
Just to show that sometimes life kicks you when you're already down, Lucy has an accident, and wakes up in the hospital seriously injured. Having taught music for many years, and been asked to sing at countless weddings and funerals, you can imagine how she feels upon learning that while she will likely regain the ability to speak, her lovely singing voice is gone forever.
Fortunately, Lucy's family and friends rally around her, and she forges a path to healing, both physically and emotionally.
There were parts of this book that made me chuckle, and parts that made me tear up. Some bits I could really relate to, such as Lucy's dislike of the "between," that time when a project is in progress, where it's neither the before nor the after. I feel stuck in the between sometimes. When Lucy fears she's slipping into "an ugliness she won't be able to crawl out of," or argues that she's not depressed, she's "incredibly, deeply, soul-woundingly sad," I found myself thinking, "I know how that feels."
Other parts I couldn't relate to at all. There's a scene in which Charlie (who comes off as mostly annoying in a very clueless sort of way) tells Lucy it's lunch time, and the obvious implication is that she's supposed to fix him something to eat. Do households actually work like that? Seriously? They raised children together. She must have catered to him all those years for him to expect her to make his lunch for him. My 12 year old has been making his own lunch (and let's be honest, lunch for his little sisters, too) for quite a while now. How is it that a grown man can't whip up his own meal?
Maybe I'm jealous that Lucy figured out her Happily Ever After while mine is still shrouded in mystery, but this was not a book that I enjoyed reading. Someone in a healthier place would probably like it much better.
As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, will Lucy's faith song go silent, too? Find out in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, Song of Silence. 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.
Celebrate the release of Song of Silence with a blog tour and giveaway. Two winners will be chosen!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Song of Silence
- A $150 Visa cash card
- A copy of Song of Silence
- A music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by Cynthia
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