“The Art of Losing Yourself” by Katie Ganshert
Review copy source: Blogging for Books
My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
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?
Having read and enjoyed Mrs. Ganshert’s book, “A Broken Kind of Beautiful”, I was glad for a chance to also read this newest book of hers. And while I enjoyed ABKOB more, I still found this a pleasant read.
My favourite and most engaging parts of the story to me were those from Gracie’s point of view. I felt for Carmen and her struggle, but it was easier for me to “bond” with Gracie, perhaps because she was closer to my age. And Elias was a remarkable character – I would like to know where Gracie’s and his story goes next.
There were some things in this book that I was not “sold” on. One particularly being about a magic eight ball and the brief story behind why Gracie and her friend at the time , couldn’t play with one. The friend’s mom had taken it away because she didn’t want her daughter playing with things that promoted/were associated with fortune-telling/magic. I fully agree with this mom, but in this story, it was told as if she was an angry, overbearing mom who was being mean and unfair – as if she was wrong. And then the magic ball became a “cute thing” in the book – I like when a there is an item that signifies something in a relationship, but not something related to magic and fortune-telling. (And if Elias was the strong Christian he was portrayed to be, I don’t think he would’ve “approved”). I guess most people don’t take it literally that the Bible tells us not to mix light with darkness. And any form of magic, fortune-telling, etc. is dabbling in the occult. I know people don’t like to hear that, but the Bible is very clear on it.
One other thing that sort of confused me is the maturity level of this book. Half the story would suggest it can be read by teens (Gracie’s story) but the other half, the more primary one (Carmen’s) had many intement details between husband and wife that shouldn’t necessarily be read by teens but rather a married person. I personally think that there shouldn’t be any kind of ‘sex-scene’ no matter the detail in any age book – even if I was married, I wouldn’t care to read such things. And while this book didn’t contain graphic details, it was still unnecessary in my opinion. A sweet, godly relationship can be portrayed without mentioning the sacredness between man and wife. God had showed me recently about the verse “Whatever is pure, whatever is noble…think on these things” and how it pertains to everything in our lives – books, movies, tv. Everything – we are to put only God-honouring, pure, uplifting things before our eyes. Sometimes it’s very easy to forget that – I know I do. But I guess what I am saying, is that a lot of people think that there has to be “sex-scenes” to make the book worth reading, but I don’t think it is necessary. ‘Think on these things…’
I like Katie Ganshert’s writing style – I think it is very good, smooth, and well working, if that makes sense. :)
I find myself still often thinking about Gracie and her side of the story – it was one I enjoyed and with there was more of. :)
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review which I have given.