Review of ‘A Broken Kind of Beautiful’ by Katie Ganshert
Author Katie Ganshert is an author whose books grabbed at my heart from the moment I first saw the cover. Her first two books I read, ‘Wildflowers from Winter’, and ‘Wishing on Willows’, grabbed at my heart so tightly I couldn’t stop reading after the first page. These books took you to a place that was so vivid and alive you didn’t want to put the books down for fear you would have to leave it. ‘A Broken Kind of Beautiful’ took on a whole different feel for me, as the place it takes you to is so much deeper then just the imagination centers of your mind. From the first chapter you read you will find yourself swimming through a world of emotion as you grow to know and feel for these characters.
Ivy Clark was a top model in New York, having worked the industry since she was 14 years old, but now that she nears her 25th birthday she is starting to fear that her belief that ‘appearance is everything’ will result in the end of her ten year career. As newer younger models take precedence in her industry, Ivy finds herself thrown to the back burner, and in danger of being tossed from the model world for good. Just as she thinks her worst nightmares are being realized, she learns she is being sent to Greenbrier, South Carolina, to help her stepmother with her new line of bridal wear. All wouldn’t be so bad, except the last place Ivy wished to find herself was living in her stepmother’s house among her childhood memories (ones she wished to forever forget), and then to be the face of bridal wear which is a far step down from being a model for top designers in New York.
Then comes Davis Knight, the mysterious photographer who seems immune to Ivy’s outwardly charm. Ivy finds great distraction from her nightmare in Greenbrier by trying desperately to get under Davis’s skin, and break that hard outer shell, but somehow it seems to always backfire. Davis has a way of looking right through Ivy, as if she were made of thin, delicate lace. And it isn’t just Davis, for all of Greenbrier, her stepmother included, seem to have a whole different belief about appearances and worth. The more time Ivy spends in Greenbrier, the greater the battle inside herself becomes, and the more she wonders if there really is more to her then the broken little girl she once was. Is there really a God who could see her and still want her? Can one so stained, so broken, and so tainted by this world really find love, and find they deserve to be loved?
Though the depth of this book was a shock for me at first, and a little hard to hold on to, the more I read the more Ivy’s story called out to me. I believe for any girl, the battle of beauty and worth is one our world will forever revolve around. From those of us who have struggled with tainted pasts, like Ivy, which have distorted our view of self worth, or those who merely struggle within themselves to find self worth, this book will renew their faith that there is someone out there who can and WILL love you for who you are. To God, the beauty that matters isn’t that which we all dig so deep, and work so hard, to find when we look at ourselves in the mirror. The beauty that matters is that which already exists deep within ourselves, and no matter how much we bury it, can always be seen by God. In Him and Him alone we should find our self worth. It is the greatest battle of my life, much like is was for Ivy, but no matter how much I lose myself to the fear and belief that image is everything, at the end of the much exhausting day, I know that God sees me for who I am, and that is enough for me.
Thank you Katie for being God’s voice in a much broken world. Thank you for creating a character who can relate to those of us with broken pasts and broken images. Thank you for reaching out to the broken and hurting. Thank you for reminding us that there is a God out there who can see past all the cracks, the broken pieces, the smudged edges, and ultimately the lies that chip away at our self worth. No matter how tight of a grip this world has on you, there is nothing out there that can compare to the strength of God’s love.
-I received this book for free from Blogging for Books (Waterbrooke Multnomah) in exchange for an honest review