I’ve talked on this blog about every single Katie Ganshert book currently published. And I’m going to keep talking.
Tomorrow (on April 21st!), Katie’s fourth novel releases into this world, The Art of Losing Yourself (Waterbrook, 2015).
This contemporary fiction novel introduces us to Carmen Hart, her husband Ben, and her troubled half-sister, Gracie Fisher. Carmen seems to have perfect life as a well-respected local TV meteorologist, but, as most of us know, nobody really has a conflict-less life. The novel deals with Carmen’s struggle over losing her family’s old inn, watching her admired Aunt Ingrid’s mind slip, working for the close bond she and her husband once had, and figuring out how to help her sister.
In the midst of Carmen’s perspective, we also get to read chapters from Gracie’s perspective. As a teenager who has dealt with more than she should’ve with an alcoholic mother, Gracie has issues of her own. But her inner dialogue helps all of us see that what one shows on the exterior doesn’t always reflect all of the inner turmoil occurring.
The first two pages drew me in with such emotion and powerful writing about miscarriages. We are thrust right into Carmen’s conflicts. Then, over the next several chapters, we learn more about Carmen, Ben, Gracie, Elias, Ingrid, and more. Gracie’s story kept me whispering to myself “one more chapter” often in the first half of the book. Then, as Carmen and Gracie’s stories intertwined more and more, I was so involved in the world that I was thinking about it even when the book wasn’t in my hands.
Katie weaves intriguing analogies throughout her story, including Gracie’s love for random facts and knowledge of the common emotional associations of different colors. Carmen often thinks on Mary Poppins references, which Katie writes so realistically that it just makes sense to include as we learn about Carmen’s character.
I love when books ask real questions about faith, as this book does often, including on page 151:
“…how do you know it’s God talking and not just your conscience?” (Gracie)
“Who’s to say our conscience isn’t one of the ways He talks to us?” (Elias)
How many of us have thought this same question? Multiple Bible studies exist focusing on this topic, so it’s obviously one of need.
This book considers trust, love (between sisters, friends, and more), the work a relationship requires, entropy, dementia, miscarriages, school culture, teenage growth, navigating friendships, relying on others, filling our holes with Truth, and more. While that seems like a lot for one book, this is one of the things Katie does so well: she writes about real life in a real way. (Bonus: the book doesn’t wrap every single conflict up in a perfect conclusion…because whose life does?)
I read The Art of Losing Yourself in less than 48 hours, but I’ll be thinking about it much, much longer than that. I also highly recommend mothers (or older sisters) and teenage daughters reading this together because of the two distinct perspectives represented here.
Check out The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert at your local bookstore, favorite online retailer, or library. Also stop by Katie’s website for behind-the-scenes information on the book and characters and more. (I love how Katie compiles these fun facts for all her books!)
For more about Katie and her books:
- Read my review of Katie’s first novel, Wildflowers from Winter, here.
- Read my review of Katie’s second novel, Wishing on Willows, here.
- Read my review of Katie’s third novel, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, here.
- Read a fun interview I did with Katie two years ago here.
- Visit Katie’s website.
Which of the themes in this novel do you think you would relate to the most?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.
I am an affiliate for Amazon Associates. If you click on an Amazon link and then make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This does not affect your final cost at all. Thank you for supporting this blog and my family!
This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.