Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert - Review and Giveaway

OverviewJust 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?

WaterBrook Press | Apr 21, 2015 | 320 Pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9781601425928
Read an Excerpt.
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD 

My Review: I'll admit, I was leary about starting this book after I read the description. I knew it was going to be heart-wrenching and poignant because that's the kind of stories that Katie Ganshert writes. I kept putting it off and putting it off and finally I just broke down and decided to read it. Let me tell you, I am SO glad I did! I devoured this book. I was reading while I cooked dinner, and I intended to read for just another hour after my evening run, and ended up finishing it after midnight. I couldn't put it down!

The story was, of course, heart-wrenching. Katie Ganshert captures the emotions of loss and disappointment in poignant detail. This is definitely not a light read, but the author does a fantastic job of keeping the plot engaging. At one point in the story, I had tears rolling unchecked down my face.

quote 4I loved reading the story through Carmen and Gracie's eyes. My soul, Carmen's story tugged at my heartstrings. I cannot imagine the amount of pain, sorrow, confusion, and heart ache this woman had to go through. I can well imagine her doubt, depression, and coldness. Gracie is a girl after my own heart. Growing up in a similar situation, I was easily able to relate to her feelings, fears, and understand her rebellious nature. At one point in the story, the author mentions that Gracie picks at her cuticals around her fingers and I thought, that is me in book format! The men in the story were swoon worthy for sure. As I was reading, I thought WOW, these guys are definitely a picture of God's love for us. Ben is a totally and completely devoted husband. He loves Carmen and his actions prove it. Elias is sweet, caring, kind and compassionate. Neither woman makes it easy on them, but they are there for them anyways.

The message of the story brought me to tears and humbled me. With all that Carmen's gone through, she begins to doubt the sovereingnty of God. She questions his Will and doubts his goodness. Who can blame her? We've all gone through periods in our Christian walk where we have questioned God for what's happened to us. Gracie knows of God, but doesn't have a relationship with Him. She feels alone and abandoned, and pushes everyone away who might try to get close because she doesn't want to be let down or let them down. As the book progresses, though, we see God working in each of their lives. I love how, at the end, the author doesn't make the jump from not believing God and doubting His goodness to everything is perfect and happy. The ending is as natural as the progression of the story. Sometimes, we have to completely surrender to be whole. "Losing yourself" to be found is hard, but sometimes, that's the point. It makes your belief and faith that much stronger.

Overall, as you can tell, I highly recommend this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Katie Ganshert's awesome stories!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.*

The Da Vinci Code by About the Author: Christy Award finalist, Katie Ganshert is the author of Wildflowers from Winter and Wishing on Willows. She lives in Iowa with her handsome husband, their dinosaur-loving son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she’s not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption, which she and her husband hope to complete sometime before they are fifty.

Connect with Katie: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Website

GIVEAWAY TIME: To win, answer the following question in a comment below: Have you read any of Katie's books before? If so, which one? Please leave your email address in a non-spam format (name (at) domain (dot) com) Giveaway ends 6/17.

34 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of Katie's books but this one sounds fantastic! I love tear-jerkers! LOL myfacebookemail23 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Get your tissues ready! It's amazing!

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  2. Your review convinced me to read her books! Thank you! sh2rose(at)cox(dot)net

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  3. I haven't read any of Katie's books yet. She is a new author to me. The book sounds like a great read.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. I read her first book 'Wildflowers from Winter' but not any others. This sounds good.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  5. I haven't read any of Katie's books yet. I have heard such amazing things about her books I really need to. I love emotional books that really draw me into the story. This is definitely on my to read list.
    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. I have not read any of Katie's books, but I think I will have to remedy that. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book. It looks like a great read.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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  7. Thank you so much for your review! I was also hesitant about this book when I read the description but I love her writing so I will be reading it and I'm sure enjoying it anyway :) Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh Heidi, you will LOVE it! It's definitely an emotional roller coaster, but I couldn't get enough!

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  8. I read Katie's first book, Wildflowers from Winter. I knew then I'd want to read her other books; I just haven't been able to yet. This sounds like another excellent one. Thanks for the review and for giving away The Art of Losing Yourself.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. I haven't read "Wildflowers from Winter" but if it's anything like the books of hers I have read, I'm sure it will be excellent!

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  9. I haven't read ant of Katie's books. But would like to win this and read it and then share it? jrs362 at hotmail dot com

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  10. I have read "A Broken Kind of Beautiful" by Katie and absolutely loved it. Thanks so much for the review and giveaway. Looks like this one will be just as good!

    writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    1. "A Broken Kind of Beautiful" is definitely one of my all time favorite books. I had a hard time writing my review for it because there was so much I wanted to say!

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  11. I have not read any of her books but look forward to reading this new one! Thanks for the giveaway

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  12. I've read Wildflowers from Winter and A Broken Kind of Beautiful. Her latest release sounds really good. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    Staci

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  13. I haven't read any of Katie's books yet, but I've heard good things about "A Broken Kind of Beautiful." Thanks for hosting this giveaway! My email is: aliciagraceroque (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  14. I haven't read any of Katie's books, but she sounds like a wonderful writer. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

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  15. I haven't yet read any of Katie's books, either, but I do have one in my TBR stack. Thank you for the opportunity to win!
    jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

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  16. I am sorry to say that I have not read any of her books. However, she sounds like an author that I am going to look for.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  17. I haven't read any of Katie's books yet but hope to soon. Thanks for the chance to win The Art of Losing Yourself.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  18. I have not read any of Katie's book but I would like to.. Thanks for gifting a copy.. It's on my TBR list :)
    dkstevensne AToutlookD OtCoM

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  19. I have not read any of her books. But would love to win this one and get to know her books. jrs362 at hotmail dot com

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  20. Have not any of her books, but I will have to check her out, I love finding new authors

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  21. I haven't read any of Katie's books. They sound like soul-stirring reads.
    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  22. I only recently discovered Katie Ganshert and just started Wildflowers from Winter. Email: tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  23. I have not read any of her books. I would really like to read this one.
    melissa dot snoopy at yahoo dot com

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  24. I have not read any of her books...this one sounds neat, I'd love to read it! My email address is aheartsurrendered(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. To answer your question, Shannah . . . NO! And that leads me to say that if I'm over committed to the point that I haven't had time to read one of Katie Ganshert's books, then I'm probably too committed. I can tell that she writes the type of character-driven stories that I love, so on my next gap between review commitments . . .

    Thank you for a lovely review, Shannah - and the giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  26. pinned HERE thx for the response you've shared and the opp to meet you :)

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  27. I have not read any of her books, but this one sounds good.
    purplejoyv(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. I haven't read any of Katie's books, however, heart-wrenching, emotional books with dysfunctional characters are my fave. Would love to read "The Art of Losing Yourself" - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. Terrific review, thanks. I am onky allowed a few hold request books at my library, and was trying to decide if I wanted to keep using one of them for this book. Now, I know that I do!

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  30. Terrific review, thanks. I am onky allowed a few hold request books at my library, and was trying to decide if I wanted to keep using one of them for this book. Now, I know that I do!

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