Thursday, July 11, 2013

"wildflowers from winter" by katie ganshert

About the book (from the publisher): A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park. An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn't seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?

My take: Wildflowers from Winter grabbed my attention from the beginning and didn't let go until I'd finished the last page. When circumstances bring Bethany back to her hometown kicking and screaming, she finds herself on a journey to find her purpose and her place to belong ... and eventually this journey leads her to God. It also leads her to Evan, who is one of the most fantastic romance novel heroes I've read about in a while. Kind, confident, and a fierce defender of those he loves, he's the "perfect" literary man.

So far, everything I've said makes this book sound like a typical love story, but it's not. While the chemistry between Bethany and Evan does practically leap off the page and you know from the beginning that they'll end up together, this book is so much deeper than your run-of-the-mill romance. Bethany certainly isn't your typical inspirational romance heroine in that she wants absolutely nothing to do with God, and in fact, her mother's and best friend's relationships with Him are part of the reason why she fled her hometown and never looked back. The book also looks at serious issues—suicide, spiritual abuse, sexual relationships, end of life issues, and family relationships are all explored in a compelling and sensitive manner. And some of those issues—especially the spiritual abuse and family issues—are so compelling that I wanted to keep reading long into the night.

Wildflowers from Winter is a fantastic debut novel, and I can't wait to get my hands on its sequel, Wishing on Willows.

My rating: 5 stars.

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About the 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 and their young son.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links on this page are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase a product, I will receive a commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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