Every time I read a book from Katie Ganshert, I think to myself, “well, how is she going to top that one?” and then she releases a new book and I just want to hug it and share it with everyone. I think The Art of Losing Yourself might just be her best yet.
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?
I love this book for so many reasons. It’s honest, raw, truthful, refreshing and hopeful. It’s a story of family (the ones we’re born into and the ones we create), pain, mistakes, renewal, loss and choices. I loved every bit of it. It’s a “I’m not moving until I finish this story” kind of read (you know, so you’re warned).
The characters are humanly honest and broken in different ways. It’s real life and I can’t say enough how much I appreciated that and related to it. But it’s not just depressing sadness – oh no! I think that’s why I was so drawn to Carmen and Gracie. They had issues, yes, but their journey was one I know so many people could relate to.
All the characters were done so well! Gracie was witty and had me cracking up with her dry commentary. Carmen – I know more than one Carmen in my life and I wanted to hug her, so she was reminded she wasn’t alone. But don’t worry, the awesome secondary characters help with that. I also loved how Ganshert seamlessly weaved the flashbacks throughout the novel. They didn’t disrupt the flow, but drew you deeper into the story, gaining an even deeper understanding of not just Carmen and Gracie, but Ben (really loved him!) and other characters as well.
I have to say I also loved how she choose to end the novel. It was not only realistically done, but also left us readers what the characters felt – hope.
I felt this way after A Broken Kind of Beautiful, so I’ll officially read anything Katie Ganshert writes (her YA trilogy, The Gifting Series, is up next I can’t wait!)
Have y’all had a chance to read any of Katie’s novels?
Also! Katie is hosting a giveaway for signed copies of her book and an extra, so be sure to check it out and enter! Check out her post here. (One more also….but I’m so excited for her next book!!!)