Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

As I dipped into the beginning pages of Katie Ganshert's newest novel, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't read the back cover blurb beforehand--I simply knew I loved the cover and the author's previous books.
What I discovered was a unique mix of teen and adult, the kind of story that appeals to a multitude of readers. In The Art of Losing Yourself, we meet Gracie, a bitter seventeen-year-old with a tainted understanding of the world, and Carmen, the older half-sister whose life isn't as picturesque as others believe. These newly-reunited sisters don't have much in common except for their love for their elderly aunt and a desolate hotel. Both women must learn that living--truly living--isn't something they can each accomplish on their own.

This heart-capturing story taps into issues like infertility, adoption, and alcoholism. Everything about the characters and the setting is real. Gracie's voice is distinguishable as a teenager's, and Carmen's pain is portrayed in a way that explores every emotion a woman craving a baby and restoration for her marriage might feel. The author writes with fierce descriptions that prick the reader's senses, making you feel as if you too are leaning on a car hood and drinking an RC Cola.

But my favorite part, my favorite character, has to be Aunt Ingrid. Suffering from dementia, Ingrid reminds me of my grandma. There's something especially terrorizing about wondering if a family member--someone you've grown up around--is going to remember who you are. My favorite quote from the entire book is pictured below:

Image courtesy of Jami Bennington
That message meant more to me than any other. The fact that life's trauma can't steal us away from the Saviour who gave Himself for us is one I cling to. No matter what you're going through, whether your mom is an alcoholic or your marriage is collapsing, God is STILL with you. If you've trusted on Him, He has sealed you, and NOTHING can touch you. You are His forevermore. Disease might rummage through your brain and hide your memories. Circumstances may force you to believe you've lost everything that matters.
But you haven't because when we get to the point where we lose ourselves, we're also at a place where the Lord can show us who we are in Him.
This is a novel that will linger with you, make you appreciate your loved ones and the blessings God has given you. Katie Ganshert always ladles her novels full of emotion, and The Art of Losing Yourself is no different.
The story is raw, real, and worthy of a read.
Buy it here.

From the Back Cover:
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?


  1. Um, wow! I haven't read this one yet--It's going on my buy list for later this month, Katie!--but I love, love, love that meme and concept and your words there. Once we are saved, we are SAVED. That does not change. I love that you're sharing that message, Katie and Courtney. We fail God over and over--and our bodies fail Him and us--but He doesn't ever lose hold of us.

    1. Amen, Sally!
      Yes, definitely read this one!

  2. Courtney, you said: "When we get to the point where we lose ourselves, we're also at a place where the Lord can show us who we are in Him."

    Beautiful! I'm doing a ten-day challenge from Dannah Gresh's devotional book "Get Lost," about getting lost in God's love. This post and reading about Katie's book made me think of that. Looks like a great story! Thanks for sharing!