All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti is a very good book. I was first thinking that it was a book about having a family member that committed a crime and how that affects everyone, even well after the person is caught and put in prison. But it is about so much more than that. It has two very strong story lines and they blend together beautifully which makes the story all the richer.
The one I mentioned deals with family members who are criminals. What is that like? How do people react to you when they recognize you or you tell them who you are? How do you forgive that family member? All questions and issues that are dealt with and yet very few of us will ever have to deal with a murderer in the family.
The other story line was harder for me because it was about a mother with dementia. I have mentioned before that my mother was diagnosed a year ago with it. It is not an easy thing to watch, a parent slowly losing everything that makes them your parent.
Neither topic is an easy one to read about, they each carry their own baggage, but they are also things that families deal with every day.
Becca is moving half way across the country to get away from her family, especially her father. What he did and her part in it is something she would like to never think of again. She is hoping a new name and start will put that all behind her. She wants to return to college and finish her nursing degree. She dreams of being just another face in the crowd, but is California far enough away?
Isaac is drawn to Becca the moment he meets her. He knows she is the one to take of his mother, who is suffering from Dementia. He doesn’t have enough time in his schedule to take care of his mother and the temps he keeps hiring are not doing a good enough job, so when his Aunt recommends Becca, he jumps at the chance. He knows she is hiding something, but how bad can it be?
I am not sure how else to describe a book like this. It is one that I think is important to read to understand what families go through when they are in these situations, but it doesn’t always make for an easy read. Sometimes it makes you uncomfortable, sometimes it hits too close to home. But it also offers encouragement, there are others who are in the same place in life and they are ready to support you as you walk this journey also.
Not a light summer read, but one that is a good read for anytime of the year.