cover image Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul

Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul

Cynthia Ruchti. Abingdon, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5018-0047-4

Ruchti writes comfortingly and often beautifully about the aches and pains of everyday life, with its sicknesses, disappointments, and consequences of poor choices. She counsels repair by God, likening God to an artist working with broken pieces that can be restored. That master conceit ties together the chapters, which touch on various art conservation and restoration practices—Japanese sashiko mending, antique doll repair, quilt reconstruction, and other techniques—to develop her central theme of faith as an agent of healing. Ruchti also weaves in stories drawn from her own and others’ lives to illustrate divine care. Ruchti’s prose can sing (“Sorrow creates its own poverty”), and she is blessedly free of self-help platitudes. The final chapters offer some self-help exercises. Her devotional may not convince those without reasonably strong faith to begin with, but for people of faith, it offers consolation when needed. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency. (Aug.)