Monday, May 25, 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

About the Book:

Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together. 

But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in.

Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole? 

My Thoughts:

Katie Ganshert paints vivid portraits of women in pain, suffering from loss and longing but in the throes of glorious healing.  If that sounds a bit complex, then I captured the essence of the complication that is a Katie Ganshert novel.

Her word choices are so crisp and alive that the reader experiences every drop of emotion right along with the characters.  If abandonment, expect to feel lost and alone.  If abused, expect to feel pain and confusion.  And, as with Carmen, you'll walk through the valley of infertility and feel every drop, whether you've given birth or still struggle.

The beauty comes in the powerful resolution to the suffering.  Each page is another step on an exquisite journey of discovery, healing, and redemption.  In "The Art of Losing Yourself" you'll witness healing of multiple relationships, while one or two remain in the process.  As Carmen makes peace with Gracie, you'll be tempted to pick up the phone and call your own sibling(s).

The power comes in the telling of the story.  The reader cannot turn the final page and not understand in a visceral level the struggle of infertility, or of abuse, or of neglect.  Each novel is a journey, with captivating scenery along the way.

Katie writes with power, and her stories linger long after the final page turns.  Her characters become long lasting friends that you'll recall from time to time, and you'll wonder how Carmen is doing and how Gracie's grades are.  You might even be tempted to pick up the phone and to give her a call...

...until you realize she only lives in your imagination.

My thanks to my friends at Waterbrook Press for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  I love Katie's gift of story, and I highly recommend "The Art of Losing Yourself".

Happy Reading!



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