Featured: Finding Ruth by Cynthia Hamilton
A daughter’s search for her mother. A true story of forgiveness and healing.
A writer turns detective to learn what her mother’s life had been like before Alzheimer’s stole her memories.
As fiercely independent Ruth struggles to stay self-reliant at the age of 86, each day brings her closer to an event that will alter her life forever. While her author daughter shifts through Ruth’s possessions prior to her move into a skilled nursing facility, she discovers a previously unseen photo from 1949 and realizes how little she knows of her mother’s life.
As Alzheimer’s continues to warp Ruth’s once sharp mind, she can no longer shed any light on the past. Yearning to know who her mother was as a person in her own right, the author painstakingly reconstructs Ruth’s life from photos, letters, public records, and firsthand memories.
What emerges is a portrait of a bright, beautiful woman who is propelled through decades of broken promises and heartache, bouncing from one ill-fated relationship to the next, but always staying strong, always surviving. Through a timeline going back sixty years, the author gleans a much better understanding of the woman she had known only as Mom.
Meet the Author:
A lifelong reader and lover of the written word, I turned to writing as a means of coping with a debilitating illness in 2000. Since then, I’ve written eleven books and have published nine of them. In addition to contemporary fiction, I write detective mysteries–THE MADELINE DAWKINS MYSTERY SERIES–and some memoir– FINDING RUTH and ONCE UPON A LYME…A TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS.
My Madeline series has really captured my mind and heart, allowing me to expand on one woman’s nightmare by giving her dual careers and a supporting cast of characters, with special emphasis on Mike Delaney, her partner in love and crime. THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE is the fourth installment in the series and is now available. As with the rest of the books, it is centered around Santa Barbara, California, Madeline’s hometown as well as mine.
Being a voracious reader, I’ve always got my Kindle with me, taking advantage of any spare moment to read, even while eating. In addition to reading and writing, I love nothing more than being outside, preferably taking hours-long walks with my husband.
I share my reading experiences through my reviews, though I only review books that I have truly enjoyed. I would take no pleasure in criticizing another author’s work. The reading experience is so subjective; if I’m not enjoying what I’m reading, I will move on to something else, but that is no reflection on the author or the book.
Feel free to connect with me!
My website: http://cynthiahamiltonbooks.com
Amazon Review by Sandy Signing In:
This is the story of Ruth. It’s told through the eyes of her daughter. After witnessing many of the trials and tribulations in her mother’s life, the author wanted to better understand the “person” who was behind the label of “Mom.”
She started out by gathering up as much information as possible about her mother’s life. Armed with that information and her own personal remembrances, the author put her findings into story form. And she did it beautifully. This story unfolds in a way that enables the reader to not only understand the events in Ruth’s life, but to feel what she was feeling. More importantly for me, it gave me an overview of what I like to think of as a soul’s journey.
Ruth started out as a smart, extremely attractive young woman who was interested in the arts, beauty and life itself. However, as she stepped forward, eager to explore the world, she wasn’t prepared for the idea of a stable but unsatisfying first marriage. After five years, she decided to bravely leave that marriage in search of true love and fulfillment.
However, once again, she found herself swept up by circumstances that were extremely challenging. Never seeming able to stay ahead of the trials and hardships that populated her life, she did her best for her children. She also continued to search for the elusive quality called love.
However, as the years passed, she eventually found herself succumbing to the pain and failures she’d experienced. The harsh realities of life seemed to outweigh the good. A sense of bitterness ensued.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. Ruth developed Alzheimer’s. When I looked up the definition, I found that it’s a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. In Ruth’s case, it seemed to sweep away her mind’s agonizing memories and pain. In the latter days of her life, Ruth returned to the happy, cheerful person she’d once been. She wasn’t capable of caring for herself, but she was capable of loving freely again.
After reading Ruth’s story, I felt inspired by the fact that underneath all the bitterness that can result from a very difficult life, the beautiful heart and soul is still there. When the mind is cast aside, our true essence exists in a purity and innocence that we rarely experience in our normal state.