The sequel to The Fragrance of Geraniums . . .
Book Two in the “A Time of Grace” trilogy – by Alicia G. Ruggieri
(read my interview with author Alicia Ruggieri HERE)
In 1935, when the bank calls in her mortgage, Sarah Picoletti – now a penniless widow – finds herself and her children on the brink of homelessness. Sick at heart, she plans to beg her brother in New Jersey to take her family in.
Then Doctor Samuel Giorgi knocks on her door. Godly and well-off, Sam seems to have put the careless ways of his youth behind him, and he also appears to have one desire: to make Sarah his wife, two decades after he broke their engagement.
However, nothing prepares Sarah for the storm that breaks once she makes her decision. Everywhere she turns, the errors of her former choices confront her, insisting on her inferiority and the irreparable brokenness of her past. Sarah begins to wonder if Christ really can bring true redemption or if He is limited by her frailty.
Meanwhile, her daughter Grace faces new challenges in her own life. When her relationship with Paulie changes unexpectedly, Grace realizes that she must make a decision with the potential to alter both of their futures.
Compassionate and intensely poignant, All Our Empty Places paints the portrait of a mother and daughter with broken pasts, who dare to step into a future overflowing with the grace of the Cross.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alicia G. Ruggieri writes Christ-centered fiction that speaks of redemption. She received her B.A. in Communications and History from Rhode Island College and lives with her husband and their emotionally-disturbed pug on the New England coast.
All Our Empty Places is the powerful, grace-saturated, gritty sequel to Alicia Ruggieri’s first novel in her A Time of Grace Trilogy, The Fragrance of Geraniums.
I remember reading The Fragrance of Geraniums, finishing it, and feeling so deeply and profoundly shaken and yet satisfied at the conclusion. I wondered what would become of Sarah, Grace’s mother, as well as Grace and Paulie.
Ruggieri’s second book, All Our Empty Places picks up the story where it left off in her first book. It is not a “happy ending” romance. It is a deep, poignant, look in to the heart and life of Sarah Picoletti, a woman who has been through the mill and back again, a woman who has put her faith in Christ but still holds onto “hang-ups” from her past, attitudes and memories that haunt her and seek to poison her future with their seeming power over her.
All through the book, the reader wonders, Will she be able to break free? Will the grace of Christ triumph? Ruggieri paints a beautiful picture of a broken woman—a picture which reaches out and speaks to the broken places in all of us, the places that we long and yearn for the love and grace of Christ to fill. Every woman who has experienced trials and difficulties can relate to Sarah’s struggle. Sarah’s husband, Sam Giorgi is a real-life representation of Christ. Their romance and the strains that Sarah goes through in learning to trust in the love of her husband serves as a glorious allegory to the relationship between Christ and His church.
Meanwhile, the delightful friendship/romance between Sarah’s daughter, Grace, and Paulie continues to play out. I loved the strength of character that Grace exhibits as well as her reliance and submission to her Heavenly Father throughout the book. It is a wonderful example for young women who are seeking to honor the Lord in their romantic relationships and to place Him first in their lives. Where Sarah learns to hold on, Grace learns to let go. The twist at the end of the story involving Grace and Paulie was wholly unexpected , yet so, so intensely satisfying to the reader. And the result left me yearning to read the third book in order to find out what will happen.
I loved this book on so many different levels—the development of the characters, the unexpected and unpredictable plot twist and turns, the God-saturated and focused story-line that isn’t “preachy” but deeply ”real,” the beautiful, strong writing style that always draws me into Ruggieri’s books, and the lesson learned at the end of the novel—that His grace is sufficient in and through our weakness—and that when we are willing to let something go, that is when we truly possess it. Well-done, and I highly recommend this book for anyone who is seeking a deeper walk with Christ and a powerful, grace-filled romance.
All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, Book 2) –
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, Book 1) – ON SALE for $0.99 through October 31, 2015 –
One winner will receive – a signed softcover of All Our Empty Places; a mug with 2 Corinthians 12:9 inscribed on it; Caramel Apple Biscotti; and Harvest Spice Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate mix. (Open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.)
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