This is one novel I will not easily put from my mind. It is a deep study on our relationship with food, (after all, Ellyn, the main character in this story is a chef) as well as with each other. I wanted to write a review like most of my other reviews that comment on the excellent use of words (which it does) including the feeling of being right there, tasting her delicious creations, smelling the wonderful aromas, just feeling a part of the story,which one does.
But paramount seems to be the feeling of this story talking to my inner most needs. And in this it reminds me of the experience of a missionary. She knew the Spanish language well enough to follow the message given without an interpreter (or so she thought).however, later when commenting on how message had spoken so clearly to her needs, she found out she was the only one who had heard this,and what she had thought had been the theme had not even been mentioned! So i think this novel will do the same...whatever you need is what you will hear, which is a phenomenal thought, and only possible through God!
i recieved this novel free from Handlebar Publishing for the purpose of reviewing. A positive critique was not required, only an honest, original one.
Four broken people come together and help each other find themselves and appreciate who God made them each to be.
Ellyn loves the Lord but the voice of Earl constantly batters her heart and mind. Ellyn owns her own restaurant and uses food as a comfort to her soul. Consequently Ellyn is not in the best of health. When Miles shows an interest in her Ellyn once again hears Earl telling her that all men want is one thing, to use her. Ellyn doesn't see what others including Miles sees in her, a beautiful woman created in the image of God.
Twila works at the local health food store. Twila is just out of rehab for her eating disorder, she's in recovery and healing. Twila captures Ellyn's attention by the tattoo on her face, a tattoo that reminds Twila of the suffering of others. Twila also has a tattoo on her wrist to remind herself that she is created in the image of God. When Twila's father comes for a visit, all of her hard work may be for nothing unless Twila can remember who she is in Christ.
Sabina has come to the small community to heal. She is suffering from extreme depression. There are days that go by that she cannot even get out of bed to eat. Sabina has lost her faith in God that she had when she was a child, now she denies His very existence.
Miles' wife Sarah passed away two years before. He has worked through the grief process and has found solace in his Savior. Miles is now ready to move on. He has taken on a partner in his doctor's office and because of an interest in Ellyn, has moved her on to the new doctor in the hopes that Ellyn will be willing to explore a relationship with him.
I love how in the story God uses each one of these broken people to help the other. Ellyn and Sabina form a true and honest friendship. Neither will let the other languish in their brokenness. Their banter and honesty with each other makes for some chuckles in the story. Ellyn and Twila form an unlikely friendship, with Twila helping Ellyn with her health issues and with wisdom dispensed beyond her years. Miles helps Twila by being a father figure to her. Helping her to work through her feelings with her own father and also helping her with her eating disorder. And of course there is Miles and Ellyn's relationship, so complicated, yet so sweet. Miles is a patient man and Ellyn is definitely attracted to him but with Earl continually battering her self-confidence Ellyn may chase Miles away just like she has done every man in her life.
Ginny Yttrup has a way of capturing real-life feelings and actions and getting them set into a heart-moving story. INVISIBLE had me wrapped up in each characters story and had me cheering for each victory and crying for each heartbreak. I've read one other book by Ginny entitled WORDS, it too is a provocative read. I guarantee that neither of these novels are a waste of time!
In my teens, when I looked in the mirror, I didn't like what I saw, and I didn't believe anyone else who said they saw something different.
Almost 20 years later, the struggle isn't as intense, but it's still a battle. And it's this image battle that novelist Ginny Yttrup writes about in her new book Invisible.
Ellyn is the owner and head chef of a restaurant in Mendocino, California. She's also overweight, has never had a relationship with a man and she's skeptical when a widowed doctor, Miles, shows interest in her. She hears a voice in her head (she calls him "Earl") that constantly puts her down. She loves butter. (Who doesn't?)
Twila works at a shop owned by her mom. They specialize in herbal medicines, organic foods, and natural products. Twila bears a tattoo of thorns on her face, a mark of solidarity with those who suffer. She is thin and recovering from an eating disorder (she calls it "Ed") and re-establishing a healthy relationship with food.
Sabina has come to Mendocino to escape. She's a therapist carrying a suitcase stuffed with guilt and battling depression. She's on a break from her practice, her family and God. Each day is a struggle to get out of bed.
Ellyn befriends Twila and Sabina and as the three of them get to know each other and their "issues," they realize they aren't as different as they might seem on the outside. Each of them, with the help of the others, is on a journey to discover who they are and why they've hidden behind food, an eating disorder and professional success.
I don't know how she does it, but Yttrup creates characters that could walk off the page and into your living room. Invisible is an honest look at what happens in the female mind, and how distorted our view of ourselves can be. I found myself able to identify with each woman for a different reason.
This quote is one of my favorites from the book: "Beauty is more than a number on the scale. It comes from the soul."
And if you like the writings of Christian saints, you'll appreciate Yttrup's inclusion of quotes from St. Augustine at the start of each chapter. A quote from his writings plays a major role in the theme of the book. (Yttrup did this with Madame Guyon in her last book, Lost and Found. I appreciate the ancient-modern connection.)
Yttrup has a unique style. Each chapter is written from the first-person perspective of one of the characters. Sometimes I had to go back and remind myself who was talking, but the chapters are short and the movement of the characters toward wholeness is fluid and hard to step away from.
I enjoyed reading this book on my own but think it would be even more meaningful in a discussion group with other women. So, if you're looking for a book club read or you have a group of girlfriends who like to read and talk, I'd put this one on the list.
In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of Invisible from Handlebar Marketing.
"Invisible" is one of the best books I have ever read! It is so powerful that I know Ginny's words will stick with me a very long time because God is writing through her!
This novel is for every woman out there who in some way or another has struggled with their self-image! I'm sure that many of us have viewed our imagine in some negative way that doesn't reflect God's view of us. Some of the characters struggle with this idea, but Ginny drives home the point so passionately that we are all made in the image of God! Through these characters stories, you can see the heart of God in Ginny's words for people who have these issues! God does not want anyone to deny Him or have unholy thoughts concerning who they are!
It's not some light-heart book that leaves you with warm fuzzy feelings afterwards, but a book that dives into the innermost thoughts of our mind and the lies, negative chatter, and pain that is there! It's such a story of healing and of growth were one cannot deny the Creator, the One who made us in His image!
Ginny's novel was not only a story of redemption and growth, but of friendship! The verse in the Bible that says "there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" comes to life throughout the pages of "Invisible" (Proverbs 18:24). It is so clear to see that as the characters grow in friendship that their is such a powerful love between friends that God has gave us on Earth! I realized through reading the book that friendship is so important and God put friends in our life to encourage us, motivate us, uplift us, and tell us the truth even when it hurts! I don't want to refuse this gift that God has so freely given us!
One other thing I really enjoyed was the strong male figure that shows the love of Jesus to Twila and Ellyn! I'm so thankful she makes a point in saying how important it is to see a solid man of Christ in our lives that we can look up too!
This novel is definitely a must read and a powerful testimony that we are made in the image of God! "Imago Dei."
Ellyn is the owner/chef of a successful eatery in her little town. Her love of cooking is second only to her love of__ butter. Ellyn is satisfied with her professional life, maybe not so much about her personal life. Ellyn has battled with her weight all her life and now she is starting to have health issues associated with it. When her doctor passes her off to a new physician in his office, Ellyn takes it as a sign to start working on her weight issues. Sabina is new to town on a self-imposed exile from her life. As a psychologist, Sabina knows the dangers of withdrawing from society and the effects that depression has on a person. Unfortunately, the battle rages in her mind between what she should do and what her body wants her to do. Twila is back helping her mom run their nutrition store in a converted church. As she continues to struggle with an eating disorder, Twila leans on Him to help her. These 3 women have nothing in common at first glance, but looks are always deceiving. The relationship between these 3 women and various other citizens in this town is intriguing and ever changing. Does Ellyn ever solve her weight issues? Will Sabina ever go back to her family? Does Twila continue with her eating disorder or does she overcome it? Find out, when you BUY THE BOOK!
This is my first book by Ginny Yttrup. I will admittedly say that her writing style is not something that I enjoy reading. It was a little confusing as each chapter was told from a different characters point of view. There were times that I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see which character was talking, especially when the characters would interact with each other. With that being said, I thought the overall story was amazing. I'm a big guy, recently diagnosed with diabetes, so I could empathize with Ellyn and her plight with food. Her struggle with how her weight affected her health issues was enlightening. The characters were well developed and their interactions were believable. I was angry with Sabina at first, but then cried with her at the end. The story flowed so well and gave such a great honest look at how we look at ourselves, when we need to remember that we are "created in His image".
Is this a "guy's book"? It doesn't have bombs, explosions or any murders, so if you're judging a "guy's book" by that criteria, then no, this isn't a "guy's book". If, though, you can see the beauty of His work in our everyday lives and how He will guide and direct us if we just stop and listen, then yes, this is a book that every guy needs to read.