THE ART OF LOSING YOURSELF
Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.
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?
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.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Art of Losing Yourself please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday June 7 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!