The Art of Losing Yourself
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The Art of Losing Yourself

WaterBrook / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Carmen seems to have it all---a handsome husband, great job, and strong faith. But appearances are deceiving. Her failing marriage and persistent doubt leave her feeling like "dry, empty bones." When her father sells his rundown Florida motel, her 17-year-old sibling, Gracie, ends up on Carmen's front porch. Can two half-sisters make each other whole? 320 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1601425929
ISBN-13: 9781601425928

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Publisher's Description

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?    
 
— Carol Award: Contemporary Fiction Winner

Author Bio

Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she’s not busy writing or playing or reading or consuming chocolate, she is dreaming about the day her Congolese daughter can finally come home. You can learn more about Katie and her books by visiting her website at www.katieganshert.com.

Editorial Reviews

"Once again Ganshert holds us spellbound in a beautiful story of endurance and hope—offering no easy answers but the irresistible light of Christ to guide us. And what characters! Real, heartbroken, warm and seeking—within them we meet our friends, our family, ourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed this and, as always, eagerly await her next."
—Katherine Reay, author of Lizzy & Jane and Dear Mr. Knightley

"The Art of Losing Yourself  highlights Katie Ganshert’s vivid prose as it brims with reality that will challenge and change you with every turn of the page. Ganshert is not afraid to write raw, to wrestle with the things that test our faith and—if we are willing—will draw us closer to God."
—Beth K. Vogt, author of Somebody Like You, one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014
 
"Katie Ganshert’s poignant novel hits deep emotional chords as the characters battle to a place of healing through a haze of pain. As someone who has experienced the deep pain of miscarriage, I could so easily relate to Carmen’s journey. Carmen’s story emphasizes what I learned: the pain and broken relationships can be healed. While plumbing deep waters, this is a story of resounding hope and discovery. I highly recommend it!"
—Cara Putman, award-winning author of Shadowed by Grace and Where Treetops Glisten

"The Art of Losing Yourself will have readers lost in its pages for hours, journeying along with two sisters in a rich, emotionally-charged tale of second chances, restoration, and finding hope—and love—when it seems perpetually out of sight."
—Betsy St. Amant, author of All’s Fair in Love & Cupcakes

"Author Katie Ganshert will sweep you into another world in The Art of Losing Yourself.  I loved this book! The journey Katie’s characters take is raw, beautiful, and honest, and the prose is lovely."
—Cindy Woodsmall, author of A Love Undone

"In The Art of Losing Yourself, Katie Ganshert has woven a sensitive story of hope and healing for our modern world. The empathy with which Ganshert explores the complexity of the human heart was so authentic and the depth of emotion so real, I was moved to tears more than once. Sisters, daughters, and mothers alike will find themselves moved by this book."
—Kristy Cambron, author of The Butterfly and the Violin and A Sparrow in Terezin

"Sitting down with a Katie Ganshert novel is like talking with a trusted friend. Something to look forward to, knowing the conversation won’t disappoint and you’ll be the better for it at the end. The Art of Losing Yourself is a poignant tale of estrangement, loss and grief, and the joy that comes in discovering you are indeed loved. In her classic tell-it-like-is style, Ganshert’s complex characters step off the page and invite you in. Their journeys are difficult, but relatable, and we’re sucked along for the ride, rooting for them the whole way through. And when the last page is turned, we are left with a smile and the contented sigh that comes at the conclusion of every wonderful read." 
—Catherine West, award-winning author of Yesterday’s Tomorrow

"Wounded, heart-tugging characters. Beautiful prose. An emotional journey that holds the reader captive. Katie Ganshert has such a way of tapping into those raw, vulnerable places with her characters, and The Art of Losing Yourself is no exception. I love the thread of hope and unabashed honesty weaving through this story of loss and letting go."
—Melissa Tagg, author of From the Start

"With a keen attention to detail and a unique, prosaic voice, Katie Ganshert has woven a poignant and powerful story in The Art of Losing Yourself. Universal themes, charged, realistic emotions and characters readers will easily relate to make this story a standout."
—Courtney Walsh, author of the New York Times e-book bestseller A Sweethaven Summer and Paper Hearts

"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."
—Deborah Raney, author of The Face of the Earth and the Chicory Inn Novels series

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  1. Karen Collier
    KarenCollier.com
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This story feels so real!
    July 14, 2015
    Karen Collier
    KarenCollier.com
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This is a story full of raw honesty, brokenness, grace, and hope. Its 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 faade 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 arent 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 Gansherts 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.
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Well crafted novel
    July 1, 2015
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Art of Losing Yourself: A Novel - eBook.
    I really liked this novel. Great characters, superb writing, tantalizing plot it's a very good novel.

    The story centers around Gracie, the younger teen-aged daughter of an alcoholic mom who runs away and ends up living with her older sister and her husband. She is a fierce character, honest to a fault. She's been hurt so many times her outer shell has reinforcements. Just maybe Elias, the nice Christian football receiver who befriends her, can break through the facade.

    Gracie's older sister, Carmen, has enough trouble of her own. After six miscarriages, her burning desire to be a mother has singed her relationship with her husband, the high school football coach. Carmen struggles with her own frustration and having Gracie in the house isn't easy.

    There is much to think about and discuss in this novel. Perhaps the biggest one is how God directs lives and causes events to work out for good for those who love him. Other issues include alcoholism, the inability to have children, trust, family loyalty, and what it really means to lose yourself.

    This is a novel about confronting issues, about growth, about forgiveness, about restoration. It is an exceptionally well crafted novel with characters so realistic I'd forget I was reading a novel. I highly recommend it for youth and adults alike.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  3. Janet
    Belton, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Touched My Heart and Ended Perfectly
    June 8, 2015
    Janet
    Belton, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book! And Im so glad I read it.

    I almost didnt. Id seen a review that said the ending was disappointing. I didnt want to be disappointed.

    But Ive enjoyed Katie Gansherts other books, so I decided to read the book.

    In my opinion, it couldnt have ended more perfectly! And everything leading up to that ending was absolutely worth reading.

    This is a book about sisters. Its a book about a marriage struggling to survive. Its about a woman with dementia who remembers what counts. Its about people who refuse to give up on people who tell them give up, who shove them away and claim they arent worth fighting for. Its about people desperately in need of second chances, third, and fourth, and more. Its about learning to be honest with yourself and others. Its about loss and disappointment and heartache. But its also a story of hope and faith and Gods incredible faithfulness, His work behind the scenes even when it seems Hes forgotten His children have needs.

    Our God never forgets. I love how Ganshert makes this point.

    If youve been disappointed, hurt, or treated unfairly, The Art of Losing Yourself has a message (or two) for you. I recommend this read.

    Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.
  4. Christian Fictionista
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Lost Myself in The Art of Loosing Yourself
    June 7, 2015
    Christian Fictionista
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Author Katie Ganshert has been a favorite of mine since her debut. I will admit, initially the story idea didnt seem to grab my attention. The fault is mine in that because once I read the first line, I was lost in Carmens and Gracies world.

    The author paints word pictures on each page with beauty and grace. Her characters are believable and flawed yet loveable. We can feel their pain and empathize with their reactions.

    When you close this book, you will do so with a hope-filled heart toward whatever situation that you must loose yourself in.

    I will eagerly anticipate to her next novel.

    *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.*
  5. Mrs ARS
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    True to life circumstances and pain
    June 5, 2015
    Mrs ARS
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Very close to a true to life story, The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert is a story of broken people living in a broken world. Alternating between two half sisters, one of whom is Carmen, a married meteorologist, and the other is Gracie, who is a senior in high school. Sharing the same alcoholic mother, both have already started out with issues. Carmen is dealing with infertility and her marriage is suffering for it. She has started to hit rock bottom stemming from a couple of melt downs. Gracie, sarcastic and dealing with abandonment issues, decides to move in with her sister and her sisters husband. In the midst of losing hope, both sisters find solace in fixing up the old family motel. We also get to see both sisters views of faith and God, and the realization that Christianity is not a magic fix. We are not promised a problem free life; however, we are promised help. This story really deals with the brokenness of life and coming to the point to be content no matter what the circumstance is. And that maybe through it all we will see that Gods hand was in everything. This is a lesson I hope to long remember.

    FTC disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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