Monday, July 7, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful

By Andrea Renee Cox

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.

Readers, how do you deal with your brokenness? Do you try to make up for it? Do you play the martyr and punish yourself, when no one asked you to? Or do you accept God’s forgiveness and move forward, toward His calling on your life?


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2 comments:

  1. I just finished this book last week - Katie's definitely one of my favorite authors these days!

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    1. J. Lynn, thanks for stopping by! Oh, I agree. Katie was the knack for telling moving stories. Glad you enjoyed her latest!

      Blessings,
      Andrea

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