When I discover a new (or new-to-me) author that I love, I’m usually quite thrilled about it. It usually means that there is a small pile of new novels out there that I can’t wait to read. I read a novel by Katie Ganshert last summer and I couldn’t wait to pick up another one. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to read one until now–and it happened to be her latest book that I recieved a chance to read. This book was so worth the wait!
**I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
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?
“If something was once good, then it has the potential to be good again.”
-Carmen Hart, The Art of Losing Yourself
Some stories are meant to stick with you. This is one of them. I’ve read one other novel by Katie Ganshert prior to this one, and for both novels, they are poignant, relevant, and impactful. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the moment that it happens, but the story just has a way of reaching out and grabbing hold of your heart. With this story, there was a moment when I was surprised to find my eyes stinging a bit (I don’t often cry at books). But that tells me that the story is filled with heart and a message that I needed to hear and perhaps someone else might as well.
I loved this story about waiting. About things that need to be “fixed.” About trusting in God when things go wrong. It was a beautiful story. The characters were authentic and the narration fit the characters so well! The story is told in first person, but alternates between the two sisters. Each voice is quite distinctive and adds an interesting freshness to the novel. In many ways, Gracie’s story feels very much like the kind of stories you find in a YA novel, while Carmen’s story is deep and painful. Together, the stories twist and create a fantastic story that is quite memorable.
About the Author:
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.
- Katie Ganshert’s Website
- Katie Ganshert’s Facebook Page
- Check out The Art of Losing Yourself on Amazon