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The Art of Losing Yourself

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The Art of Losing Yourself PDF, ePub eBook Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed. 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 Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed. 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?

30 review for The Art of Losing Yourself

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chantel

    The Art Of Losing Yourself SUMMARY 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 The Art Of Losing Yourself SUMMARY 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? MY REVIEW This story was so well done, this book goes in the category of "books that make an impact" for me. Katie Ganshert has real talent for creating real stories and characters with emotion and truth. It was so many times while I was reading this book I felt like I was watching someone's life instead of reading a story. This novel really takes on the theme of trusting God in the Valleys of our lives, I love that the book opens with Ezekiel 37:1-3 {https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...} ("...Son of man, can these bones live?") . I always love books about sister's so it was nice and I love seeing from both Carmen and Gracie Point of view and seeing their relationship play out, and also the personal struggles they deal with. This story reminds me to remember that God is with us in broken times and has the power to heal the dead areas in our life. Jesus the Resurrection and the life!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Two years ago, I tried to read this story. I found it depressing and laid it aside. Eventually I forgot I had gotten a review copy and spent 1.99 on an ebook. Thanks to a buddy read and an author focus month, I picked it up and actually managed to finish it. The writing is well done. I could feel the emotions of the characters and knew what motivated them. I could almost see was was going on. I came to care about what happened with Carmen and Gracie, and truly enjoyed the bits about the inn. I di Two years ago, I tried to read this story. I found it depressing and laid it aside. Eventually I forgot I had gotten a review copy and spent 1.99 on an ebook. Thanks to a buddy read and an author focus month, I picked it up and actually managed to finish it. The writing is well done. I could feel the emotions of the characters and knew what motivated them. I could almost see was was going on. I came to care about what happened with Carmen and Gracie, and truly enjoyed the bits about the inn. I didn't like the morbid focus on using the bathroom and how. Literally, a full third of the chapters had some reference or other to going to use the bathroom, to finding a lavatory, to using the beach when there wasn't running water. Come on...really? And the repeated crude slang put me off, too. For all the angst I went through with Carmen and Gracie, I wanted some payoff! The book was ended at an entirely wrong spot! (view spoiler)[ What happened next? Did Gracie get her life together? Did she learn to trust Jesus, to know what baptism actually means? Did Carmen and Ben ever start a family? Did Carmen ever get over her unhealthy focus on gaining a baby? There are literally hundreds of foster kids in the US waiting for homes simply because they're no longer babies and many families can't take sibling groups or don't want older kids. Did Carmen ever let herself fully open her heart to her husband again? Did she hold onto that sliver of faith she had, or did it falter again? What about Ben? I never saw him being a strong Christian man, throwing himself on his knees and asking God to heal their family and open Carmen's heart to him again. (hide spoiler)] I was left with hundreds of questions of what came next. Just when I began to hope the characters might find some real glimmer of hope, the story was over. They faltered so many times, there's every chance they were going to falter again. I left behind some characters that were weak and needy. I wanted to see some healing. Also... what's up with the title? Each character began entirely self-focused, so I expected it to be part of their learning how to look at things beyond themselves. But, in the end, they were generally just beginning to perk up and realize the world was bigger than they were. Gracie, better than Carmen was. There's a whole level of faith that takes people far beyond the tiny glimmers of hope these two sisters had gotten. I kept hoping that the beautiful conquering faith would show up somewhere, and it didn't. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy, even though I forgot about it and bought my own. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    "Not all things are worth saving, you know. But some are worth every ounce of fight you can throw at them. You just have to know the difference." Two sisters, one rundown motel, and a plethora of old wounds and dashed hopes in need of restoration. Pleasantly readable and honest. A wonderfully good piece of Christian fiction, through and through. Not flawless, but solid. Carmen's situations/heartaches were dynamic. A little cliched and soapish at times, but not too over the top. I could relate to "Not all things are worth saving, you know. But some are worth every ounce of fight you can throw at them. You just have to know the difference." Two sisters, one rundown motel, and a plethora of old wounds and dashed hopes in need of restoration. Pleasantly readable and honest. A wonderfully good piece of Christian fiction, through and through. Not flawless, but solid. Carmen's situations/heartaches were dynamic. A little cliched and soapish at times, but not too over the top. I could relate to her grief and conflicting emotions. The parking lot sign battle was sadly hilarious. Her hubby though, Mr. Football Coach/Pottery Instructor, was a bit too perfectly patient, perfectly pure, perfectly polite, perfectly fictitious. Had he had some sort of tick or niggling flaw, he would have come across as a much more believable male specimen. The real star of the entire book, far and above, at least for me: seventeen-year-old Gracie. FIVE STARS FOR GRACIE! The author truly captured the emo essence to a Gothic T: bitter, caustic, gritty, privately fearful, self-imposed social outcast, desperately wanting to find something hopeful, or someone ultimately trustworthy she can latch onto - before the tides of a hopelessness pull her under. "When you grow up with an alcoholic parent you learn,, you learn pretty quickly that hope leads to disappointments. Promises end up a pile of broken pieces. And change never lasts." Yes, Gracie alone stole the show and my heart. Her character more than compensated for numerous micro-bursts of melodramatics and soap bubbles. I'm just not a fan of melodramatics or soap opera theatrics. Too much cheese and whine. And I wasn't a fan of the ending. I'm all for leaving a few things dangling for the reader to pontificate. But in this case, everything was pretty much left hanging; as if a paragraph, if not a whole entire chapter was missing. Blunt cut. Lopped off. Docked like Doberman. Overall though, despite a few personal quibbles, I thought it was a worthwhile, morally sound, inspirational good read, tackling family dysfunction, alcohol abuse, sister complexities, grief, and redemption. Enthusiastic fans of Chick-Lit dramas would probably rate this inspirational one star higher...... THREE **** Solid Good, Primarily Realistic, Christian Fiction *** STARS

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    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. 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 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. 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? Originally posted at http://booksandbeverages.org/2016/08/...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannah Mauney

    I'll admit, I was leary about starting this book after I read the description. I knew it was going to be heart-wrenching and poignant because that's the kind of stories that Katie Ganshert writes. I kept putting it off and putting it off and finally I just broke down and decided to read it. Let me tell you, I am SO glad I did! I devoured this book. I was reading while I cooked dinner, and I intended to read for just another hour after my evening run, and ended up finishing it after midnight. I c I'll admit, I was leary about starting this book after I read the description. I knew it was going to be heart-wrenching and poignant because that's the kind of stories that Katie Ganshert writes. I kept putting it off and putting it off and finally I just broke down and decided to read it. Let me tell you, I am SO glad I did! I devoured this book. I was reading while I cooked dinner, and I intended to read for just another hour after my evening run, and ended up finishing it after midnight. I couldn't put it down! Read my full review: http://faithlovebooks.blogspot.com/20...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Boyd

    "The devil is every bit as satisfied with a dead marriage as he is with divorce." So profound. I felt sorry for Ben. Carmen was not my favorite character. And then there's Gracie. Gracie is me as a teenager. From the first scene, I knew what her every move would be and it was oddly refreshing. it isn't often that I can relate so completely with a character. This is a great, well thought out, well crafted novel that is not afraid to ask, "Who is Jesus to you?"

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    From infertility to miscarriage to marital problems to mental breakdowns to alcoholism to dementia to a multitude of teenage angst, The Art of Losing Yourself paints a portrait of people with real issues – tough issues – and packs a pretty emotional punch. Yet, even at the darkest moments, beautiful waves of hope saturate this novel – hope for redemption, hope for truth, hope for joy. Oh my goodness, y’all. This book had me transfixed. Absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Katie Ganshert tack From infertility to miscarriage to marital problems to mental breakdowns to alcoholism to dementia to a multitude of teenage angst, The Art of Losing Yourself paints a portrait of people with real issues – tough issues – and packs a pretty emotional punch. Yet, even at the darkest moments, beautiful waves of hope saturate this novel – hope for redemption, hope for truth, hope for joy. Oh my goodness, y’all. This book had me transfixed. Absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Katie Ganshert tackles a bunch of tough topics with grace and compassion and TALENT. So much talent. The dual first-person narrative (going back and forth between Carmen’s perspective and Gracie’s perspective) was so unique and added a deeply personal aspect to the story that I think might have been lacking in a third person voice. I ached for each one of them in turn and hung on every word to see what would happen next. Ben & Carmen just about broke my heart. Even though we saw their marriage from Carmen’s POV, Katie Ganshert did a magnificent job of capturing Ben’s emotions through his actions, his expressions, his words. We don’t get his thoughts but I never felt like I needed them – it was so much more powerful without them, in my opinion. And the flashbacks! Oh my heart. Watching them fall in love with the grinning and the flirting and the kisses. And the key relationship moments – seriously, I wasn’t sure my heart could handle it. I fell in love with them … and I wanted them back. The them that began at The Treasure Chest Motel before life numbed Carmen to the feels. THE FEELS!!! You guys!!! Ben and THE FEELS! I know I am making so little sense right now. But you must read this book and then you will get my poorly-structured ramblings about Ben and his emotions and his love and AHHH!! This book tore. me. up. And Gracie. Oh goobers – where to start with Gracie. Broken fragile little girl wrapped up in a snarky insecure teenage body. She’s so used to people rejecting her that she doesn’t know quite what to do with the ones that refuse to let go. The people… and God. From the moment Eli asks her who she says Jesus is, Gracie is confronted with the idea that Someone out there cares. But yeah… that realization doesn’t come easy when every time she puts her heart on the line it gets crushed and humiliated. Which brings up my next point. There are some mighty powerful truths encased in this book. Things like – sometimes all you can do is get through something because “some things in life we aren’t meant to get over”. Or the sobering fact of entropy, that nature is predisposed toward disorder and unless we actively fight against it things will fall apart – “motels and marriages alike.” (I felt the whole concept of the motel ruin and restoration was a brilliant metaphor for the potential of Carmen and Ben’s marriage. How it had fallen into disrepair because of neglect and what it would take to undo all the damage. The last scene – brilliant.) Along those lines, this quote of Aunt Ingrid’s hit me in the heart – “Not all things are worth saving. But some are worth every ounce of fight you can throw at them. You just have to know the difference.” And the ending?!? I refuse to spoil things for you but it’s not your typical ending. And I loved that about it. (Ok. Part of me scrolled frantically to find more of the book, an epilogue, anything! But most of me applauded it for its realism and hope.) Bottom Line: This is not an “easy” read – it will tear at your heart & your soul. But it will also plant vivid seeds of hope in the power of redemption and restoration. You will probably need a box of tissues – especially if you’ve ever found yourself in a storm of any of the issues I mentioned at the beginning – but these tears can bring sweet healing. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love contemporary fiction and aren’t a huge fan of sappy romance. (I received a digital copy of this novel from the publisher in conjunction with Blogging For Books in exchange for only my honest review.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beyond the Pages

    Where do I begin? What could I possibly say to you to convince you that you should definitely read this book? Trust me when I say that you want to read this book. It's... moving. It's powerful. It's real. It's life. The beautiful thing about The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert is that this book has breath. It lives. What I mean is that it is a story that is, quite frankly, our own story. It's the kind of story that begins with an emotionally-charged moment and ends with a now what-but qu Where do I begin? What could I possibly say to you to convince you that you should definitely read this book? Trust me when I say that you want to read this book. It's... moving. It's powerful. It's real. It's life. The beautiful thing about The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert is that this book has breath. It lives. What I mean is that it is a story that is, quite frankly, our own story. It's the kind of story that begins with an emotionally-charged moment and ends with a now what-but question. It is the type of story that you quickly find yourself identifying wth the characters or with some aspect of a character's struggle. (I love that! I love seeing the deeper picture, the where are You, God, in a story or the that's me and what I'm dealing with kind of picture.) From the moment I started reading this story, I was immediately drawn in. In fact, I literally found myself writing in the margins of my pages. I wrote down my impressions, my questions, my takeaways. I recall just how suddenly my heart was attracted to Carmen and Gracie. Their walks were so different and yet so similar, in certain respects. They were both so seemingly lost in a tidal wave of hopelessness while still being desirous of finding a new hope to make things better. (Sigh. Sniffle. Can you relate to that at all?) The grace lessons and the God lessons in this book are priceless. In fact, there are such wonderful messages sprinkled throughout the pages of this book that I found myself wanting to share them and talk about them with a friend. That's how compelling this story is. That's how riveting it is! Still, I could say so much more about this book. (And I will.) This book is so rich and meaningful that I have decided to feature it as a Table Talk series on my blog for a whole month. That says something! Do yourself a favor and read this book. Do not approach it or see it from a superficial point of view; dig deeper and find the greater love story because it is most certainly there. That - the greater love story, the greater grace story - is where you will find yourself and begin to see a brighter hope. (Can you tell I like this book? I really do, and you will too.) Rating: 5/5 Recommend: Yes Audience: Adult Status: Christian, Contemporary Options: Women's Interest Group Discussion Series, Christian Book Club, Church Library, Marriage and Family Ministry, Grief Counseling Life Lessons/GraceLessons: Yes A complimentary copy of this title was made available by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest critique. I was not required to submit a positive review or compensated for my review. The words I have expressed are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Raw and heart-breaking yet hopeful. I devoured this novel like a thirsty person drinking cold water. Carmen and Gracie are both broken, however broken in different ways. Their stories combine to become one and it is partially through each other that they find healing. My favorite character in this novel was Ben. He was faithful and supportive. He loved Carmen when she wasn't very lovable. The Art of Losing Yourself reeks of reality and shows how God is there when we feel like we are going through Raw and heart-breaking yet hopeful. I devoured this novel like a thirsty person drinking cold water. Carmen and Gracie are both broken, however broken in different ways. Their stories combine to become one and it is partially through each other that they find healing. My favorite character in this novel was Ben. He was faithful and supportive. He loved Carmen when she wasn't very lovable. The Art of Losing Yourself reeks of reality and shows how God is there when we feel like we are going through the trials of Job.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karen Collier

    This is a story full of raw honesty, brokenness, grace, and hope. It’s told from two distinctive first person viewpoints. Carmen – a married woman grown distant from her husband under the strain of six miscarriages, who tries to put on a perfect façade for the outside world. And her teenage half-sister Gracie, who has run away from their alcoholic mother, in hopes of returning to a place where she once felt appreciated. The story feels real – the characters, the situations, the emotions, the rela This is a story full of raw honesty, brokenness, grace, and hope. It’s told from two distinctive first person viewpoints. Carmen – a married woman grown distant from her husband under the strain of six miscarriages, who tries to put on a perfect façade for the outside world. And her teenage half-sister Gracie, who has run away from their alcoholic mother, in hopes of returning to a place where she once felt appreciated. The story feels real – the characters, the situations, the emotions, the relationships, and the setting. All of it. I enjoyed coming along on the sisters’ journeys as they grow and develop in their relationships and their personal faith. And I love the fact that the characters’ problems aren’t downplayed by a too tidy ending, and yet there is a hopeful and satisfying resolution complete with an inspiring look at grace and trust. One of my favorite parts of the whole book is when Carmen looks back at a series of what could have been seen as coincidences, and instead sees “evidence of a God who orchestrated even the most mundane details for our good” (Page 300). Another favorite moment was when Aunt Ingrid (suffering from dementia) defends her dessert from being taken, to the point of throwing a spoon at someone, and then offers a bit of surprisingly sage advice: “'Not all things are worth saving, you know. But some are worth every ounce of fight you can throw at them.' With all the dignity in the world, she took a few small bites of her dessert. 'You just have to know the difference.'” (Page 53) I brought this book along with me on a weekend trip to the beach and devoured it in the shade of a beach umbrella. Since the book was set partly at a beach-side motel, it turned out to be a particularly great fit for the weekend. I highly recommend both book and beach, taken together or separately. :) Author Katie Ganshert’s Christy Award winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful was among my favorite reads of 2014, and this latest novel by Katie Ganshert could well be among my favorites for 2015. I think Book Groups will find it an excellent choice for discussion, and in fact, it includes a discussion guide. Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah for providing a paperback copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books Program in exchange for my honest review. For more reviews of Christian fiction, check out my blog at karencollier.com.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This author never ceases to amaze me, I love love her writing, she writes real and raw. I marveled how well she captured their personalities, I could totally hear how they sounded, felt what they were feeling and felt as though she captured exactly how it would be in real life, I loved it. I actually appreciated her ending to the book again it was real. I highly recommend this book, be prepared to go through many emotions.... ;-)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Raney

    The Art of Losing Yourself took my breath away with its ability to portray the complex facets of human relationships in such a realistic, yet tender way. Ganshert’s writing creates a prism of perspectives into the lives of characters as deeply flawed as they are endearing. Carmen and Gracie’s stories made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think—and that’s my definition of a perfect novel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Vanscoyoc

    Honestly, I picked up this book a little unsure whether I would like it or not. It sounded very different from Katie’s previous books. I shouldn’t have wondered though, because I absolutely loved it! I definitely had high expectations for this book, having loved all of her other books. I expected to be taken through a story that would tug my heart, inspire and encourage me, and also draw me in, most likely to the point of tears. It certainly did all of those, including the last one. Katie is one Honestly, I picked up this book a little unsure whether I would like it or not. It sounded very different from Katie’s previous books. I shouldn’t have wondered though, because I absolutely loved it! I definitely had high expectations for this book, having loved all of her other books. I expected to be taken through a story that would tug my heart, inspire and encourage me, and also draw me in, most likely to the point of tears. It certainly did all of those, including the last one. Katie is one of the few authors that can draw me in so entirely that I struggle to separate fiction from reality. Her characters spring right off the page and into my heart. Even though I may not completely understand what they are going through, she shows me, page by page, until I feel like I traveled the path with them. I could almost feel their pain, it was so palpable. I reached a point where I had to stop reading, because I could no longer see the words through the tears pouring down my face. For me, that makes this a wonderful book and Katie an excellent author. Even though the things she writes about may be a bit uncomfortable for us, they are so important. This book is made even more powerful, because of the added weight of her personal experience with the trials the characters go through. This story is different from her previous ones in how it is presented. It comes from two point of views - Carmen’s and Gracie’s. Through their eyes, we see pain, fear, anger, and a multitude of other emotions. But the most important thing we see? Healing. Though they weren’t even aware of it as they struggled and fought to make something of the lives pain had almost destroyed, it’s there in the little things. I love that the title of this book made more and more sense the longer I read. It is intertwined in the very basis of the story and there were also several different interpretations for how it played into it. Carmen and Gracie are so realistic! I actually had to remind myself that they are fictional characters, because they just became so real to me. I found myself almost praying for them a couple times, as well as wanting so badly to help them in some way. I loved that Katie was able to give them each such distinct voices. They don’t sound like any other characters I have ever “met.” They are so broken, so bruised by life. Watching them as they try to figure out where to go from here, how to keep moving. They both ask such heart wrenching questions, but reading them, I realized they resonated with me so much, because they are ones I’ve asked. I found myself crying out with them, asking where God is in those situations, why He allows the hard times. They are brutally honest, the heart cry of anyone who has ever tried to carry more than they can bear and found they aren’t strong enough. The most beautiful part in all of this - Katie didn’t try to wrap it up in a neat package. There are no cookie cutter answers, no platitudes. She shows the struggle, but she also shows God’s grace. I read this, thinking it was Carmen’s story, Gracie’s story, maybe even the story of countless people, but in the end, it’s God’s. It all leads back to Him in the end. He may not be mentioned on every single page, but He’s still there, woven throughout every word, every line. His love shows through this story, His grace. Even in the darkest moments, when it seemed they would be lost, He was there. Honestly, I never reached a place where I wanted to put the book down. More often than not, I was groaning mentally whenever I knew I had to stop and get something done. It kept me up late and I was right back at it at first opportunity. I would read for an hour, sometimes two, and not even notice the passing of time. I know some may read the synopsis and think this sounds like a boring book, but is it not. There is nothing slow about it. I was left guessing and asking questions ‘til the end. I actually went into this book expecting a romance, but it ended up being so much more. There is a little bit of romance, but it is not the theme or even a major part of the story. There is some in passing, as Carmen and her husband work on their marriage, and Gracie has a guy friend (note: not a boyfriend). It was refreshingly absent, as it left the characters able to focus on things that seemed a bit more important. I love the wisdom packed between these pages. I often found myself either writing down a line I wanted to remember, or else snapping a photo of it with my phone, so I wouldn’t lose it. There are so many quotes I could share, but then I might steal some of the fun of discovering them yourself. This is a book I seriously considered highlighting or underlining and I hate doing that to books. I prefer to keep them in near-perfect condition, but I was tempted. I think the most surprising part of the story is how it ended. There is no pat “happily ever after” here. The characters still have things to deal with, they are by no means perfect now, but we’re left with hope. Hope, their future is bright. Hope, that they are finding their way again. Hope, that God is always there in the storms life throws at us. A word of warning. If you’re looking for a feel-good “happily ever after” kind of story, then this may not be the book for you. It will grip your heart and emotions, pulling you into the messy lives of hurting people. It might make you cry, but it may also give you hope. I received an advanced copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    If I could pick one word to describe this book it would be depressing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen (Kat) Smith

    Do you ever feel like your drowning in your life, and no one notices? Everyday it seems like everyone is going along with their own lives, while you are watching yours fall apart bit by bit. You pray, but it even feels like God has abandoned you? Then you know exactly what Carmen Hart feels like almost every single day. Being married to her childhood sweetheart, they had always wanted a family. Yet it seems like its just not in God's plan for their life. After having six miscarriages, Carmen has Do you ever feel like your drowning in your life, and no one notices? Everyday it seems like everyone is going along with their own lives, while you are watching yours fall apart bit by bit. You pray, but it even feels like God has abandoned you? Then you know exactly what Carmen Hart feels like almost every single day. Being married to her childhood sweetheart, they had always wanted a family. Yet it seems like its just not in God's plan for their life. After having six miscarriages, Carmen has lost more than her will to life, she seems to have lost her sanity at the same time. Being in the public eye has never posed a problem in the past, but when shopping for a friends baby shower gifts at Toys R Us, and walks back to her car, she sees an expectant mother sign and completely loses it. After running over the sign repeatedly, she never expected someone to film it and post it to YouTube. Now as the local weathergirl this is not the type of publicity the station is looking for and tells Carmen to take some time off, til this blows over. Only Carmen can't even discuss any of this with her husband Ben, because after losing so many children, she has put up walls between them and has no intention on taking them down any time soon. She finds solace renovating an old motel that has been in their family for generations. It's either fix it up and attempt to get it running again or sell the dilapidated property and let part of her treasured past go. What she doesn't expect to find there is her seventeen-year-old sister Gracie living there because it is the only real place she can call home. Their mother has turned back to alcohol once again and just seems like their parental roles have been reversed. Gracie is struggling to fit in where it seems like she doesn't and finds solace in the memories from years past in the old motel. Will this restoration project prove to be just what they both need to reconcile their pasts and move to a brighter future? I received The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is such a great novel and truly enjoyed reading it over the weekend. It is such an escape from life, because you can definitely relate to either the characters of Gracie or Carmen. They are both struggling with the demands others have unfairly placed on them even though neither of them will admit it to those closest to them. They keep those buried deep inside instead of confronting them and sharing them with the very people that they need to. I found myself relating more to Carmen because of her apparent need to appear that she is all put together on the outside, but is literally falling apart on the inside. It's like we have to appear strong for others, but never let others see our need for comfort in our own personal struggles. I would have loved to see how some of the situations resolve themselves by the end, and am hoping there might be a sequel to this one in the near future! Well worth every single one of the 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There is a discussion guide at the conclusion of this book which is perfect for book clubs!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rissi

    Since it first released, I had every intention of reading Katie Ganshert’s latest novel. Her novel A Broken Kind of Beautiful lived up to its title and then some. Still, for whatever reason, it took the 2016 INSPYs before I actually picked up another of Katie’s amazing books. To my great pleasure, her latest novel is again, a study in what good fiction should be. Told in duel first-person perspectives, we meet Carmen Hart, a woman with the perfect life to the outside world. Every day, she is the Since it first released, I had every intention of reading Katie Ganshert’s latest novel. Her novel A Broken Kind of Beautiful lived up to its title and then some. Still, for whatever reason, it took the 2016 INSPYs before I actually picked up another of Katie’s amazing books. To my great pleasure, her latest novel is again, a study in what good fiction should be. Told in duel first-person perspectives, we meet Carmen Hart, a woman with the perfect life to the outside world. Every day, she is the popular weather girl, married to a loved high school teacher who has it all. Privately, she’s anything but “together.” Suffering multiple miscarriages, Carmen is a heartbroken mess of a woman without any real desire for seeking God. Enter Gracie, Carmen’s teenage half-sister, who is also anything but well adjusted. As these two broken lives collide, will there be healing or more heartbreak? You shouldn't let something that happened in the past stop you from having something that could be great in the present.” -Katie Ganshert Given this novel bears the name Katie Ganshert, I’m not in the least surprised it’s such a joy to read. Using the noun “joy” as a descriptor might be a bit misleading since this novel is about devastating losses (in more ways than one). However, it’s because of those heartbreaking loss that this one is joyous. Carmen’s character is one of the most complex and intriguing women I’ve met on the page in a long time. She’s closed off to the world around her which makes her journey one we root for all the more. We want so much more for her because, deep down, we know, despite the loss of her dream she has so much more to give. As we’ve come to expect, Katie’s signature writing is present which surprises, compels and impresses us in equal turns. Properly giving credit to all of the beautiful things about this novel is impossible. I’ve not even begun to touch on all of the moving pieces involved. This would mean a much longer review, which no one is likely interested in. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a brief rundown, which does seem in order. From the men who capture Carmen and Gracie’s hearts, helping to mold and change them into their best selves to the emotional fallout with their mother, this novel boasts no weak link. It’s a heart-wrenching and beautiful challenge. There are many things left to chance, which is, sometimes the best way to end a story. Sincere thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this novel in consideration of the INSPYs shortlists.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarita

    Rating 4.5 stars This was my first introduction to Katie Ganshert and now all her books will make its way to my TBR. Karen Kingsbury is my all time favourite contemporary fiction author. I love her books and it always leaves me thinking about the stories, implementing what I've read. I compare everyone to Karen and Katie Ganshert has met my standard! This story was so full of broken, hurt characters. Issues which runs deep and is not easy to deal with. Issues like longing for babies, but remaining Rating 4.5 stars This was my first introduction to Katie Ganshert and now all her books will make its way to my TBR. Karen Kingsbury is my all time favourite contemporary fiction author. I love her books and it always leaves me thinking about the stories, implementing what I've read. I compare everyone to Karen and Katie Ganshert has met my standard! This story was so full of broken, hurt characters. Issues which runs deep and is not easy to deal with. Issues like longing for babies, but remaining empty-womb. Marriages which runs cold due to the stress of life. Feelings that you are not worthy and not important. Alcoholism. All of these are extremely difficult issues and Katie handled it with perfection. The books is written in first person, which I normally find frustrating and boring, but Katie managed to break my skepticism about first person. The first person jumps between Carmen, who is married to Ben, who deals with hurt about not having a baby and a dead marriage, and Gracie, Carmen's half sister, a teen who had to grow up with an alcoholic mother, with no hope and trust in people. Jumping between the 2 stories never left me confused and both characters were written so strongly, just from reading the first few words you know which character you are following now (the author did right Carmen/Gracie as guidance as well). There was so many great scenes in this book, my favourites were, without spoiling, the one with Aunt Ingrid where she stated some things are worth fighting for. The scene between Carmen and Gracie in the rain - this was the first time they were truly honest with each other. When Ben told Gracie to not let the past ruin something great in the present and the one with Ben and Carmen and the suitcases. In Carmen's story, Katie also did a great job of taking you with Carmen when she thought back to the days she and Ben met. Their love story is one of my favourites I have read. I loved Ben. He was so patient even though he got hurt and could take the easy way but fought for what was important to him. Elias was also a great character who played a major impact in Gracie's life. The book was too short. It ended too quickly and left me feeling like I missed something (that my copy was not complete) and only because of this I give a 4.5 rating instead of 5.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    There's a heaviness to this story that I wasn't completely prepared for. A gut-wrenching sorrow that shadows every page. A hard read in so many ways but a real one. And a challenging one because of that glaring reality. Where is God when you do everything right only it all turns out wrong? That's the question Carmen struggles with as she tries to bury her grief beneath a plastic façade. She's drowning in a wave of hopelessness -- an internal battle of doubt and despair; afraid to let anyone know There's a heaviness to this story that I wasn't completely prepared for. A gut-wrenching sorrow that shadows every page. A hard read in so many ways but a real one. And a challenging one because of that glaring reality. Where is God when you do everything right only it all turns out wrong? That's the question Carmen struggles with as she tries to bury her grief beneath a plastic façade. She's drowning in a wave of hopelessness -- an internal battle of doubt and despair; afraid to let anyone know that she's teetering on the edge of desperate. I kept willing her to open her mouth and talk to someone -- especially her husband! But Carmen has spent her whole life doing 'perfect' to counter the reality of being raised by an alcoholic mother and admitting imperfection is terrifying for her. Gracie isn't even sure God exists at all. He certainly hasn't shown up in her life so far. Still living with her alcoholic mom, she's chosen the exact opposite coping mechanism than her sister. Gracie is a rebel. A cynic with an impenetrable wall around her heart...until her latest escapade lands her living under Carmen's roof. Ganshert alternates perspective between the sisters, using 1st person POV and it really works to take the reader deep into the psyche of both Carmen and Gracie. It makes the read more poignant and heart-wrenching. And while The Art of Losing Yourself is a heavy read, there are moments of light and laughter worth savoring. A certain incident with a goat comes to mind. And Gracie's sarcastic wit. But ultimately, this is a powerful story of hope. The kind of hope only faith can bring you. And with that faith comes the ability to trust. And when you have trust you can have relationships. Such a beautiful testimony of the richness of living.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I have been anticipating the arrival of this book for about a year now. I've decided that anything Katie writes will probably be a winner with me. This book did not disappoint in any way. The characters are wonderful and the reader gets to know them in a personal way. The main story line switches between Gracie and Carmen, I personally enjoyed Gracie's side of the story more but both were wonderful. I think Katie writes about lives that are real and unlike other books, the perfect ending, perso I have been anticipating the arrival of this book for about a year now. I've decided that anything Katie writes will probably be a winner with me. This book did not disappoint in any way. The characters are wonderful and the reader gets to know them in a personal way. The main story line switches between Gracie and Carmen, I personally enjoyed Gracie's side of the story more but both were wonderful. I think Katie writes about lives that are real and unlike other books, the perfect ending, person, romance, doesn't just "happen". Carmen struggles with not being able to have children and thus in a way wrestles with what God wants from her or means to her. The way the story unfolds left me wanting more and the beachy type setting was really fun. Gracie doesn't trust many people especially her family and now she's switched schools again. I liked to read about her struggle because I could better relate. This is a well written story that captures the lives of many people today. The ending was not what I expected and that's not a bad thing. Can't wait to read more!! Thanks to Katie and Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me with a free advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna Hurtt

    Wow... What an emotional, heartbreaking, excruciatingly beautiful story. Two stories are told in this book: Carmen and Gracie, two sisters who couldn't be more different if they tried. These two characters were amazing to read about, both of them deep and wounded and craving love. It was so fun to tag along in their lives. I loved their independent and unique points of view and the beautiful restorations they receive in this book. Just from reading the back cover, I knew this story was going to be Wow... What an emotional, heartbreaking, excruciatingly beautiful story. Two stories are told in this book: Carmen and Gracie, two sisters who couldn't be more different if they tried. These two characters were amazing to read about, both of them deep and wounded and craving love. It was so fun to tag along in their lives. I loved their independent and unique points of view and the beautiful restorations they receive in this book. Just from reading the back cover, I knew this story was going to be an emotional roller coaster and it didn't disappoint. I laughed, I cried, my heart squeezed for these characters, and soared with joy for them. This is one of those books where you need a few hours, or maybe a few days, to recover from, but not in a bad way. More of a "Holy cow, I can't believe these people aren't real and sitting in my living room" kind of way. I am a huge fan of Katie's writing and, in my opinion, this is her best book yet. 5 stars for a truly magnificent masterpiece! (I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Imagine the panic; drowning in a relentless onslaught of waves, unable to reach the one and only lifeline, reliving the horror in nightmares over and over and over again. In more ways than one, Carmen Hart is submerged; in grief, in depression, in futility, and in perspective. Her public self is amazingly flawless; married to a wonderful man, living in a beautiful home and enjoying the job of a lifetime; but on the inside? Carmen is a hollow shell, faith abandoned, and beginning to crumble. Graci Imagine the panic; drowning in a relentless onslaught of waves, unable to reach the one and only lifeline, reliving the horror in nightmares over and over and over again. In more ways than one, Carmen Hart is submerged; in grief, in depression, in futility, and in perspective. Her public self is amazingly flawless; married to a wonderful man, living in a beautiful home and enjoying the job of a lifetime; but on the inside? Carmen is a hollow shell, faith abandoned, and beginning to crumble. Gracie Fisher is determined to run; away from a mother who cannot stay sober, away from teachers who do not want to understand her and away from a self-inflicted barrage of self-condemnation. When Gracie and Carmen re-unite on the grounds of an old abandoned family motel, they re-discover sisterhood in a way that only God above could orchestrate. Their journey, a dance with many movements and long pauses, includes two men, a beloved aunt and a passage through a "valley of dry bones". "The Art of Losing Yourself" is not only well written, it demonstrates this author's ability to write stories of significance.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I almost didnt preorder this book. I read the synopsis and didnt think I could relate to the characters. But it kept getting great reviews and the price was right, so I did. And all those reviews were spot on! The characters are real and human and messy and relatable. The storyline is flawlessly put together and the resolution ties things up but still left the story wide open. In a good way. Every book Katie Ganshert writes gets better and I can't wait to see what she has next!

  23. 5 out of 5

    April

    This is one of those stories that grabs hold and lingers with you. Ganshert engaged my heart and my mind right from the start and held them fast the whole way through. I loved how she wove the tapestry, that is this story together. Showing the hard, painful times; times filled with questions, doubts and fears. Peppered in was grace being woven through, the faithfulness of God orchestrating circumstances and bringing others into these characters lives to plant seeds, water them and point to Him a This is one of those stories that grabs hold and lingers with you. Ganshert engaged my heart and my mind right from the start and held them fast the whole way through. I loved how she wove the tapestry, that is this story together. Showing the hard, painful times; times filled with questions, doubts and fears. Peppered in was grace being woven through, the faithfulness of God orchestrating circumstances and bringing others into these characters lives to plant seeds, water them and point to Him along the way. Like I said, this is a tapestry so you really don't see the big picture till the end. I loved this one. This is most definitely not a giddy story. The story is real and honest, and I am so glad I read it. I wish there would have been an epilogue at the end, but otherwise no complaints from me here. Highly recommend this one!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    This was a difficult book to get through. I have never even been pregnant, yet alone had miscarriages. That is one subject I actually try to avoid, but I thought perhaps this book would have a good message for those of us who can't have children. The ending fell totally flat for me...I know I can make up my own ending, but I can also make up my own story. So much was left hanging at the end of this book. I had read so much positive that I bought it...it was well written with some original conten This was a difficult book to get through. I have never even been pregnant, yet alone had miscarriages. That is one subject I actually try to avoid, but I thought perhaps this book would have a good message for those of us who can't have children. The ending fell totally flat for me...I know I can make up my own ending, but I can also make up my own story. So much was left hanging at the end of this book. I had read so much positive that I bought it...it was well written with some original content. I can't mark it down just because for me personally this is a "taboo" subject. The real to life characters were well done, the plot was a good one just not complete, and a lot of real life in this read. It wasn't near the read " A Broken Kind of Beautiful was, tho. Really tough read for me, that's for sure!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Evans

    I picked up this book on a recommendation, and I had no idea the emotional mess I was getting myself into. I almost stopped reading in the middle of the prologue when I realized how close to home this was going to hit, and still don't really want to get into my tangled emotional reactions to this book. So, I'll just say that the writing was good, which is rare for me to say in this genre.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I really connected with the main character in this book. I have gone through similar trials. This book is a great view into the mind of someone struggling with miscarriage and infertility. It is a great read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    Book review of The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert From goodreads.com: The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert (Goodreads Author) 4.73 of 5 stars 4.73 · rating details · 91 ratings · 52 reviews Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed. 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 coupl Book review of The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert From goodreads.com: The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert (Goodreads Author) 4.73 of 5 stars 4.73 · rating details · 91 ratings · 52 reviews Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed. 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? Paperback, 320 pages Published April 21st 2015 by WaterBrook Press Leona's review: This is the first read for me by this author and not one kind of book I usually read. I won it from freshfiction.com and I always try to read and review the books I win. I found myself involved with the characters and their problems. Carmen, who is a meteorologist for a TV station, has had six miscarriages and thinks an adoption of a baby will be the answer; her husband, Ben, does not believe it is. Ben is the coach at the high school where Gracie now attends. Gracie has run away from home and her alcoholic mother. Carmen and Gracie are sisters and have the same mother but different fathers. We meet Eli/ Elias who has a white mother and a black father. He is on the football team and seems to have so much patience and cares for others. He is close to his pastor, Pastor Zeke, who is also a caring person. We also meet Aunt Ingrid who has dementia and still grieves for Gerald, her husband who passed away four years ago. I think the connection for the family is the Treasure Chest, a mom and pop motel, that Aunt Ingrid and Uncle Gerald owned. It is in shambles and Carmen and Gracie fix it up again and I believe it brings them close together. It connects the family as well. The chapters switch between Carmen and Gracie in the first person. It does not confuse the reader. This is fairly quick and easy read. I would suggest high school age and up for reading and understanding the problems. At one point Carmen says to God that she does not believe in Him and realizes she is talking to God. There are some passages from the Bible. There is a reader's guide at the back of the book. Two questions are: "What story did you enjoy more- Carmen's or Gracie's? Why? and Who is your favorite secondary character? Why? The book is dedicated to: For Salima, my brave, brave, brave little girl. Being your mother is one of the greatest honors I will ever be blessed with on this side of eternity. Come what may, God's writing a grand story for your life. I liked this book and will give it a 5 star rating. The opinions are my own. It is not a depressing book, but one I see that has a lot of faith and hope. It is an inspirational and moving book. A good book club read. Katie Ganshert may be reached at: [email protected]; www.katieganshert.com; Twitter @KatieGanshert; Facebook www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieGanshert and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/katieganshert Leona Olson http://www.mnleona.blogspot.com

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elsie

    As always, Katie Ganshert writes a beautiful story. The characters are well developed and the writing is lovely. This was a modern day story, set in Florida’s panhandle. Carmen Hart is the local TV meteorologist and she is married to the local high school football coach. They look like they have the perfect life from the outside… but on the inside they are struggling. They have been trying to have a baby of their own for years now and the longer the process takes, the more withdrawn Carmen becom As always, Katie Ganshert writes a beautiful story. The characters are well developed and the writing is lovely. This was a modern day story, set in Florida’s panhandle. Carmen Hart is the local TV meteorologist and she is married to the local high school football coach. They look like they have the perfect life from the outside… but on the inside they are struggling. They have been trying to have a baby of their own for years now and the longer the process takes, the more withdrawn Carmen becomes. Enter her younger sister, Gracie. Gracie’s life looks like a total mess on the outside. She doesn’t fit in, her mother is an alcoholic, and she is always getting into trouble in school. When Carmen finds Gracie living in a vacant motel, she takes Gracie home with her and that stirs everything up. To be honest, I struggled with this book some. Not because the story wasn’t good or because the characters weren’t believable – because they were very real – but because it was very sad. At one point, I put the book down and just had a heavy weight on my chest from all the hurts in this book. Yes, there is hope and redemption and restoration, but the road to get there is very bleak, depressing and hard. My sorrow for Carmen’s character had me feeling her pain on many occasions and I almost didn’t want to continue on at some points because I was afraid of what was going to happen. My favorite character in this book was Carmen’s husband Ben. He is a wonderful man who is full of integrity and love for his wife, but he wasn’t perfect. There were a couple times I was expecting a royal screw-up on his part (thank you to the author for not letting it happen… I don’t think I could have handled it) but he kept clinging to his faith, his family and his dreams throughout the story. There are also many colorful secondary characters, Aunt Ingrid who has dementia (also a sad aspect to the story) Elias, Gracie’s friend and Carmen and Gracie’s mom were all great additions to the storyline. So… if you want to read a beautifully written story of faith and redemption that is woven with realistic life doubts and crisis this is a great read. If you can’t stand sad book, then this is not the book for you. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Santi

    This new release by one of my all time favorite authors was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. Having read all of Katie's previous books, I knew this one was bound to be incredible, and it did not disappoint. Once again I was spellbound by Katie's amazing ability to make me feel for and relate to all of her characters, even ones that I have seemingly nothing in common with! Is it possible to feel a deep kinship with your sisters and brothers in Christ, even if they are fictional character This new release by one of my all time favorite authors was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. Having read all of Katie's previous books, I knew this one was bound to be incredible, and it did not disappoint. Once again I was spellbound by Katie's amazing ability to make me feel for and relate to all of her characters, even ones that I have seemingly nothing in common with! Is it possible to feel a deep kinship with your sisters and brothers in Christ, even if they are fictional characters? The answer is yes, it is. And that is exactly what Katie Ganshert. Carmen, Ben and Gracie were all excellent main characters (I can't choose a favorite!) and I found myself rooting for them right from the get-go, I also loved Eli, he was so sweet it made me melt numerous times. The premise of restoring a rundown motel to its former glory was incredibly unique and very intriguing, I especially loved all the memories that Carmen flashed back to from her and Ben's relationship that had taken place there at The Treasure Chest motel! This was such a great story, I can't stress that enough! I loved this book, which is clear seeing as how I read it from cover to cover in two days! My only complaint is that I felt that the very ending seemed a tad bit abrupt, I would have really liked an epilogue, but I have my fingers crossed that maybe these characters will make an appearance in Katie Ganshert's future works! This author's books always challenge me in my own relationship with Christ, sometimes they make me examine things about myself that I would rather not look too closely at, but they always, always leave me inspired, refreshed and with a renewed depth in my own relationship with God! I would like to thank Katie Ganshert from the bottom if my heart for writing such amazing books! And I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for us next! I received a free copy of this books from the publisher through their Blogging for Books program in exchange for honest review. Which I have done, the above is my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Johnson

    This book...it's an experience. A fictional-yet-incredibly-realistic look at infertility, alcoholism, marital struggles, dementia...and all these threads wrap securely into an unforgettable story. The Art of Losing Yourself is raw and lyrical and difficult but in the most beautiful way possible. Author Katie Ganshert pin-points the dark valleys of life with such authentic words and scenes at times I squinted and squirmed and sighed over these characters, over their heartbreaking but ultimately l This book...it's an experience. A fictional-yet-incredibly-realistic look at infertility, alcoholism, marital struggles, dementia...and all these threads wrap securely into an unforgettable story. The Art of Losing Yourself is raw and lyrical and difficult but in the most beautiful way possible. Author Katie Ganshert pin-points the dark valleys of life with such authentic words and scenes at times I squinted and squirmed and sighed over these characters, over their heartbreaking but ultimately life and faith-affirming journey. Carmen and Ben's troubled marriage almost broke my heart, and made me look at my own marriage and reflect on the walls humans erect because sometimes it's just too easy. Carmen's runaway, heart-hardened yet vulnerable teenage sister Gracie was also a revelation in fictional terms. Gracie is so real and troubled and yearning--for stability, for someone who cares just to be there, for friendship and acceptance. The story of these two half-sisters renovating their broken-down family motel--The Treasure Chest--while renovating their nonexistent relationship and making sense of years of life's disappointments, made my heart ache and expand and smile. If I had one tiny complaint, it's that the ending was three degrees too abrupt. I would've liked just a tad more closure, a touch more detail, though the ending is good, and satisfying. It's just that I cared so deeply for these people-characters, I guess I just wanted more of them. If you're looking for brave and beautiful inspirational women's fiction, I highly recommend The Art of Losing Yourself. Bravo to Katie Ganshert for using her gift of storytelling to touch readers' hearts.

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