Monday, November 23, 2015

"a broken kind of beautiful" by katie ganshert

When I first started reading A Broken Kind of Beautiful, I wondered if I'd enjoy it at all. A story about a model? How could I relate to that? Oh, how wrong I was!

Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong.

Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the fa├žade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

Every so often (and it's really not often enough, in my opinion), you come across a book that grips you from the opening pages and sticks with you long after you've turned the final page. A Broken Kind of Beautiful is one such book.

As I began reading, I did not like Ivy at all—which could have been a problem, considering she's the main character. But ultimately I connected with this book in a way that I don't often experience. I could go into great detail here, but that would end up being a bit too personal. (You should have seen my first draft!) I will say that I deeply identified with Ivy's step-mother Marilyn's story. Though I have no idea what it's like to be barren and have a husband who strayed, I do know what it's like to have your life not turn out like you'd planned. I know the pain of not having a husband or children. To see how God redeemed Marilyn's story—in a way she wouldn't have imagined—spoke to me.

I finished this book with tears streaming down my cheeks. It's not a romance in the traditional sense—while there is a bit of romance between Davis and Ivy, the real romance is between a Heavenly Father and his children. His pursuit of Ivy—and Davis—and Marilyn—is depicted beautifully. This may not have been the most romantic of books in the classic way, but it certainly touched my heart. 5 stars.

Buy the novel.
Read my reviews of Ganshert's An October Bride (5 stars), The Perfect Arrangement (5 stars), and Wildflowers from Winter (5 stars).

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate 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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