If you’ve been around my blog for a bit, you’ll know that historical fiction is my go-to genre. History never changes, so for me, these stories are timeless. When it comes to contemporary romance, I often find I don’t have the same enthusiasm. Of course there’s some incredible books out there, but sometimes I find myself not being able to connect. Obviously it’s a personal preference, but when a new book hits the scene and reviews are a blazing, I’m still a bit hesitant about it.
Even with that, I decided to review A Broken Kind of Beautiful, Katie Ganshert’s latest release. I was too intrigued by everyone’s responses not to read it. And you know what? I can say they were 100% right!
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.
If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?
This is one of those books where the message of the story is not only powerful, but beautifully weaved throughout the pages. This story reveals such an important lesson: where our worth comes from. It’s not how we look, it’s not what we did or didn’t do, how dirty our past is or how clean. These things don’t matter because our value is something far more. Life isn’t easy. Life is hard. Things are done to us and sometimes we’re the ones making mistakes, but how wonderful and how beautiful is this truth: That the Lord redeems!
With such a message, it would be easy for this novel to come across as preachy, cheesy or unrealistic. Yet, that is one reason why it’s such a great read. The story is natural flowing and realistic. I could picture some of the characters in real life (from the compassionate ones to the selfish ones) and I could understand (and sometimes relate) to the struggles of each character. From Marilyn to Davis to Ivy to many of the secondary characters (loved Sara!), you learn from each one and really feel their stories. My kind of book!
It takes a really good contemporary novel for me to recommend it fully and this is one of those I do.
Have had a chance to read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
(Thank you to Blogging for Books for the copy in exchange for my honest review)