This was Katie Ganshert's debut novel which was released in 2012. While shopping during Christmas I happened to spot this at Lifeway and bought it. I had never read this book and was really looking forward to it. Needless to say it is a spectacular read and one of the best nights of lost sleep. Yes, it was that good. This is a book that will swallow you heart and soul.
Bethany Quinn is a beautiful, young woman living in Chicago. She left Peak, Iowa 10 years ago and vowed she would never return to her hometown. Her only true link that remains in Peak is her beloved grandfather. He had always been her safe haven after the death of her father.
Evan Price has always been the odd man out in his family. He loves his work as ranch foreman at the Quinn farm and protects the ones he loves. He has a dream of one day owning and operating his own farm and is determined to see that dream come true.
Bethany and Evan will both grab your heart immediately. I loved this story for several reasons, but mostly for the message it gives. You never walk alone. Even when you give up on God, he never gives up on you.
It seems that Bethany and Evan should have a lot in common. After all, they both love Bethany's grandfather and come from the same place. However, Bethany's determined to move on with her life and leave her past behind. When she inherits her grandfather's farmhouseâ€”sans houseâ€”she's determined to sell ... even if that means selling Evan's dream out from under him.
Sparks fly between Evan and Bethany nearly from the beginning. I could tell that this was going to be an interesting relationship and couldn't wait to see how and if it developed further ... though I hoped it would! As much as I came to like Bethany, I liked Evan from the very start. He was the perfect hero for this story and may have been the most well-developed character in the story.
The third-person vignettes were a unique touch. I enjoyed the glimpses they gave to the past and they really helped fill out the story. Additionally, Robin was a great character, and I'm excited that her story be featured in Ganshert's next book.
Katie Ganshert's debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, was fantastic! If this first novel is any indication of what readers can expect in the future, I can't wait to read what's next! [5 stars]
I did not receive this book for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
From previous experience I was beginning to think Christian fiction, by female authors, was not going to be my thing. However, in previewing for my next read, the title "Wildflowers from Winter" caught my attention. There was nothing unique about the description of the book but I noticed I had the option to preview the first chapter. That struck me as a "can't lose" option, so I clicked on the link. Not even halfway through that chapter I was captivated. Thankfully the novel was available via e-book so I was able to quickly receive a copy, which I promptly read over the course of the following three evenings. If my lifestyle would have allowed I'd have read the story in it's entirety in one sitting, because it was that good! At the end of the book I discovered the first chapter of the sequel and now, if only that novel was available, right now, to read! Katie Ganshert is the author, and in my opinion, this a a woman with great talent. The characters in her story became real to me; I felt their emotions and related to their experiences. I laughed with them, I cried with them. Each character had enough good to love them and enough flaws to seem like real people. As for staging the story, the author gave just enough description that I was able to visualize the scenes and feel as if I were there, but never so much that I could get bored. I received a preview copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, for my review, and I'm excited to share with you about this exciting new Christian fiction novel. In my opinion, this is a wonderful read, that I highly recommend!
In her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, Katie Ganshert focuses on the life of a self-made, self-sufficient young lady with a hurtful past. Determined to live her life on her own, she sees little value in investing in the lives of others or in believing in God.
Through a somewhat long trail of mishaps and unwanted events, Bethany finds herself facing the past she wanted to bury and friends she felt she no longer needed.
However, in entered a long, lost friend in Robin, a woman seemingly living a fairy tale life until tragedy strikes.
A series of events that could only be defined as divinely orchestrated, forced the two hurting women together again, one a stoic mask of bitterness, the other a haunting shell of indescribable pain.
As the story unfolded, I found myself getting frustrated with Bethany's superior attitude and Robin's apparent unending sorrow. A part of me wanted to jump right to the love and romance. To get everything smoothed out quickly.
However, the story's realism was actually the feature that drew me in and held me fast. Grief wasn't relieved overnight. Questioning God and His purpose ran throughout the book. The messiness of life was revealed in its totality.
As I devoured the story (staying up much too late to finish it), an image kept popping up in my mind. One of a dance where several steps are taken forward and then back again. This is how our journeys through this broken world play out.
Life isn't a neat package and neither is faith.
Katie Ganshert does a masterful job portraying a bit of, I believe, all our walks in her characters. Not tying up life with a neat little bow, but revealing the fringes and tears in the wrapping. She writes the reality of redemption, not perfection.
Check out this great read! You won't be disappointed.