Nothing stabs like sister-wounds.

Ruthie’s Rules and Other Reflections on a Charmed Life is a novella-length memoir consisting of five free-standing essays that intersect with each other. 

In this volume of interlinked essays, Rebecca Hope reflects on the beauty God gives for ashes. Beginning with the tragic house fire that led to her mother’s schizophrenia and culminating with the account of God’s tender healing touch after the death of her own child, these poignant personal stories grapple with guilt, blame, and shame without losing sight of God’s desire to work all things together for good. While solid answers don’t always appear, God’s hand does.

“A Charmed Life” is the large framework of Rebecca’s life, beginning with the Fire, a tragic event that shaped her family’s history.

“Day of the Frying Pan” describes an incident from Rebecca’s childhood when she, as the youngest of nine siblings, came face to face with her family’s dysfunction. This chapter will be published in the December 2018 issue of Junto Magazine.

“Ruthie’s Rules,” the anchor story, is a tale of two sisters as they navigate the best and worst times of their lives, sometimes as close companions, sometimes as strangers. Ruthie and Becky’s journey winds through the trials of childhood sexual abuse, mental illness, abandonment, and loss and through the joys of romance, career success, children, and second chances. Their story shows how deep-rooted Christian faith weathers the vicissitudes of sisterhood—even when things go terribly wrong in their relationship.

“The Sisterhood of Bereaved Mothers,” a micro-essay first published by the website Mothers Always Write, explores the bond between mothers from two generations who both lost a child—Rebecca and her mother.

“The Case of the Curious Wall,” first published by The Same.Blog, describes the death of Rebecca’s third child and the unique path toward healing that God led her on.