Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Art of Losing Yourself
WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)
Katie Ganshert


Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate.


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:
The sliver of hope needed a date with the tweezers.”  (p.261)

Gracie’s sentiment at this point in the story echoes most of her life up until that moment.  Gracie is a very broken, angry, rebellious teen, and she is tired of fighting for every breath, every opportunity to have a normal teenage life…for just a moment!  Her life is hard.  Her sister, Carmen, seems to have been able to find “normal” in her life – a successful career, a husband, a purpose – but she is fighting her own demons, and neither she nor her marriage may survive the onslaught of battle.  When these two sisters attempt life together, they have even harder choices to face.  Nothing gets easier.  Rather, they must face death and, ultimately, life together – together with a God who seems to have abandoned them to their brokenness.

The Art of Losing Yourself is one of the most profoundly honest books I’ve read in quite some time.  The characters are realistic and their lives bear the scars of trying to do life alone – outside the love and grace of a God who loved them and gave His life to redeem theirs.  These two young women are strangers to that love and grace, and their journey of discovery is rather brutal.  Many, if not all, readers will identify with one or more of their struggles – their questions – their fears – their doubt.  Their conclusions at the end of the story are equally realistic and transformational.

Settle in with this story.  Abide with the characters and walk alongside them in their struggles.  You will be very, very glad you did!  This isn’t an easy read sometimes, but it is definitely worth every moment you will spend reading!  I highly recommend this novel!   

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Art of Losing Yourself, go HERE.

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