A stunning novel that will challenge as much as entertain
September 29, 2014
A Broken Kind of Beautiful is a rich testimony of God's everlasting, redeeming love. And it might just be a wake up call to many readers. Because Ivy is the kind of woman we like to judge. She's not particularly nice. In fact she's shallow, self-centered and uses her body as a weapon. Not an easy person to warm up too if you only look at the surface. Doesn't sound like a sympathetic heroine, right? Wrong!
Ganshert gives us glimpses into the reasons behind Ivy's brokenness from the very first time we meet her. And through the course of the book the author continues to peel away layer after layer of Ivy's protective faade, slowly revealing the lost child within.
Luckily Davis has a gift for looking beneath the glitz, glamour and games Ivy plays and what he sees is a desperate emptiness. An unsettled relationship develops between the two. Friends sometimes, wary adversaries most of the time. But though Davis is firm in his Christian convictions, he isn't perfect. He can't let go of past mistakes. There's a powerful scene about forgiveness that left me reeling. A huge 'aha' moment. I don't want to post spoilers so I won't say more but it's on page 240. Check it out when you're reading. (but don't skip ahead!)
A Broken Kind of Beautiful is so much more than just a love story between a man and a woman. It is also the redeeming love story of a Father and His beloved child. Honestly, I just wept through the last quarter of the book.
Ganshert has created a compelling story that would make an excellent read for a book club group. There is so much scope for discussion -- both literary and inspirational. A stunning novel that will challenge as much as entertain.
Sometimes we need to be broken to find our inner beauty
July 28, 2014
Blooming with Books
A Broken Kind of Beautiful
By Katie Ganshert
I have never read Katie Ganshert's books before A Broken Kind of Beautiful. I needed to pick a new book for review through the Blogging for Books program and so I figured I give this book a try. I am so glad I did. A Broken Kind of Beautiful is a book that really touches one's heart. I spent Saturday afternoon reading this book and didn't want to put it down.
Ivy Clark has spent her life wanting her father's love, but now it is too late. She has no more chances to earn the love she seeks. She's tried to fill this emptiness with meaningless flings and attractions since she was 14 years old. Add to this that her mother hasn't been there for her for more than 10 years and Ivy is a broken person.
Ivy's life is dependent upon her looks and her fading youth (which at 24 years of age is pretty sad). With her modeling career seemingly on the downturn - she has one last chance - modeling wedding dresses for her step-mother.
But why Marilyn Olsen would want the living breathing proof of her husband's unfaithfulness modeling her wedding line is unfathomable to Ivy. With her career on the line she reluctantly agrees to leave New York for Greenbrier, South Carolina. But when she learns that the photographer for the shoot is her step-cousin Davis Knight she's convinced this is the end. After all Davis is a nobody maintenance man at the local church!
But Davis had his own successes and career in fashion. But something happened, causing him to turn his back on a lucrative career and vowing to never to again pick-up his camera. But Aunt Marilyn convinces him do this one favor for her and for his sister Sara. And for Sara, Davis will do anything.
Can these hurting people find the blessings that being broken has brought them? Or will they only see what their brokenness has cost them?
A Broken Kind of Beautiful looks at the heart and the inner beauty of a life reborn and renewed in Christ. The statement about outer beauty being fleeting is explored. The emptiness of world acclaim can be overcome by coming into fellowship with the One who sees our true inner self.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
After reading Katie Ganshert's first two novels, I've come to expect brilliance in the form of broken characters struggling to discover a way to live life again. What took me by surprise in A Broken Kind of Beautiful was the new depth Katie found. Her characters weren't only broken; they'd been completely shattered like a dropped snow globe. Ivy Clark in particular was lost and desperate for everything that was wrong for her. The journey she had to take to climb out of the dark, cold cave was beautifully written and so true to life. Figuring out that you're broken and alone is sometimes the hardest, most frightening process, and Katie captured that with such raw vulnerability that I often found myself either breathless or in tears. Not many books have moved me so powerfully lately, but that might be because I could identify so much with the tagline of the book: "Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong." My own situation isn't nearly as bad as all that, but I did discover something along the way that changed my perspective on my life.
Even though figuring out how broken and alone you are is so difficult, once you discover the God who can mend you and breathe new life into you_ there's no other feeling in the world like it, and there aren't enough words for me to describe the freeing joy that comes with it. There's not a safer, more comforting place to be than in God's arms. He's big enough and loving enough to take every shattered person and heal them until they're better than they were before. He loves us so much. If you haven't yet discovered His love, I hope you'll dive into His Word and find Him. He's calling you now. Won't you answer Him?
"It took darkness to show me truth." Sara's words from chapter twenty-two couldn't be more true. As sinners, we live in darkness. It isn't until we realize how big we've messed up that we can appreciate and find the truth of God's love and sacrifice. It's books like A Broken Kind of Beautiful that remind me just how huge Jesus's dying on the cross was. He freely forgives our worst mistakes when we ask Him. He mops up and erases our biggest messes. His forgiveness and grace overwhelm me because I know I don't deserve them; no one does. That's why they're free gifts. There's nothing we can do to earn them. But if we ask for them with honest, humbled hearts, God gives them to us, adopting us into His family and assuring us eternal life on the other side of this mortal one we're living now. It is my prayer that you will discover the beauty in His gift. It's quite amazing to behold.
About the book: A Broken Kind of Beautiful tells the story of Ivy Clark, an out-of-work fashion model who must go back home to a small town that holds her haunting past, and Davis Knight, a man who set aside his dream of being a fashion photographer to live a quiet life in that same small town. When they join forces to create multiple advertisements for a relative's wedding dress boutique, will they help each other heal from their broken pasts? Or will they continue to live with the shards of mistakes and regrets poking them at every decision? Will God's truth reveal that each of them is a broken kind of beautiful?
Thank you to Blogging for Books, who provided this book to me for free in exchange for my honest review.
The description talks about a model. I was thinking it would be about modeling and wasn't really sure about it. Once you get in the story, it really hits at your heart. The words, "Redeemed" and "forgiven" really hit home. How often do we really forgive ourselves after God forgives us? How many times to we doubt our selfworth? Does that hurt God when we feel that way, when he says we are redeemed and precious? When God makes us a promise, do we hold onto the promise, even if it feels like it takes forever to get there_ these are all things that this book addresses in a good story form.
I enjoyed this story from all the characters standpoints. This is a book that you walk away from remembering the life lessons that it teaches. I'm thankful for WaterbrookPress. The back of the book has a Readers Guide of 11 questions if you wanted to hold it in your book club.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this HONEST review.
Ok, I'll admit it. I'm that person that _occasionally_..runs a little late. When arriving at parties it's socially acceptable to be "fashionable late", which I often am. However sometimes you might miss the best part of the party if you are too late. I have to say that I'm "late" in joining the party on those who have read and enjoyed A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert, and after reading this book, I feel like wow- I wish I would have read this one earlier it's filled with great characters, an interesting storyline and so much- "wow, that's so true" dialogue. So now that I am fashionably late to discovering this book, it does not diminish it's enjoyment or impact for me, this was a good one.
The characters are as the book title suggest Broken and Beautiful- Ivy, an aging out supermodel - mind you she's about to hit the old age of 25- is a heroine unlike most you find in this genre, but there is something about her that you just really care about what happens to her. Her back story is a bit heartbreaking as the novel opens and she is at her estranged father's funeral. She is a young woman who just never quite felt loved and so with her beautiful outside she would seek it out in all the wrong places leading to relationships that meant nothing. Her walls were way up and no one ever really knew the real Ivy. In a last fitch effort to try and revive her career, her agent and uncle, get's her a shoot with her Stepmother Marilyn who happens to own a lovely little Bridal shop in Greenbrier South Carolina called Something New, which is a far cry from her usual stomping grounds in New York City. She is desperate though and out of work ,so off she goes to this job with her walls of armor up high and strong against anyone trying to get in. Next, we meet Davis Knight a former up and coming fashion photographer who had all the makings of skyrocketing to the top of the fashion industry, but left his big job in New York because of an accident to his sister that has filled him with guilt and a feeling that he should never pick up a camera again. However ,he does serve as the fashion photographer for Ivy's shoot as the proceeds are going to go to directly help his sister with an art program for her at a local college. He rediscovers his love for photography and his amazing talent shows through his work producing the best pictures Ivy has ever taken. In all of this a relationship starts to brew between the two, although not in the normal way that Ivy is used to having with a man.
There are so many aspects to this novel that I absolutely loved- the power of forgiveness being one and the idea that God's forgiveness covers it all and all guilt can be laid down right at the foot of the cross. The pacing to this novel was flawless as we see the character of Ivy develop and grow- her journey from the beginning of the book to the end was one that pulled the reader in and by the end the tears were a flowing. I also loved the fact that the "hero" of the book had his issues to sort through as well. In a manner of speaking, "Miss Abandoned "meets "Mr Guilt-ridden" and because of who God is in their lives, they can find the love and the forgiveness they need through God to heal. And for those of you that are "fashionably late" like me to discovering this book- I truly hope that you will enjoy this as much as I did. This one goes on the favorites shelf and I look forward to reading more great books like this one from Katie Ganshert.
I was graciously given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.