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The Art of Losing Yourself


The Art of Losing Yourself

Carmen Hart is a meteorologist for a local Florida television station and married to Ben, a handsome and well-loved high school football coach. She lives in a beautiful home, and to the outside world, she has it all --- the ideal life. But Carmen is well aware that her life is far from perfect. At the top of her imperfect list is her inability to carry a baby. Several miscarriages have left her with dwindling hope of ever having a family, and also on the verge of a mental breakdown. She questions her marriage to Ben and her relationship with God, neither of which is exactly thriving. Then Carmen seriously loses it in the grocery store parking lot, prompting her to also question her sanity.

To say Gracie Fisher is troubled is an understatement. She lives with an alcoholic mother whose broken promises seem to outnumber the bottles of wine she consumes. When Gracie gets suspended from school for fighting, her mom suggests she go live with her father, to which Gracie responds by hurling her mother’s wine glass against the wall. Since there’s no way she is going to live with her dad, and her mom obviously doesn’t want to deal with her, Gracie decides she’d be better off on her own.

"The title says it all --- you will most likely lose yourself…in this book. I found myself wanting more after the final page, but at the same time thoroughly satisfied with the ending."

Carmen receives a call from her dad informing her that someone has reported activity at The Treasure Chest, the now vacant beach motel that Carmen’s family owns and had operated for years. Carmen agrees to meet a local deputy at the property to check things out. She is shocked to find that Gracie has been squatting at the motel for the past few days. Despite Gracie’s spewing attitude, Carmen offers to let her little sister spend the night, but fully intends to bring her home to her mother in the morning.

Until she calls her mom, who asks if Gracie can stay with Carmen and Ben for a while.

With legal ramifications pending over her parking lot meltdown, as well as her marital struggles and overall emotional health at the moment, the last thing Carmen needs is a difficult teenager to deal with. But what choice does she have? She and Gracie aren’t exactly close, but she loves her sister. So she tries to make the best of it, while doing everything she can to avoid the deeper issues at hand. When Carmen is ordered to take a temporary leave from her job, she enlists Gracie’s help in restoring the old motel that has a special place in both of their hearts.

Who knows? Bringing the motel back to life may be just the thing to help both Carmen and Gracie make sense of their own lives and offer much needed healing to their souls.

THE ART OF LOSING YOURSELF is a story that is, indeed, an art form. The writing is purposeful and powerful, with wonderful descriptions and deep characterizations. Both internal and external conflict exists, creating a solid plot and an intense page-turner. This story deals with issues of family bonds and dysfunctions, marriage, infertility, alcoholism and even dementia. Author Katie Ganshert has crafted an emotionally complex story, yet one that is simplistic in its delivery. Characters are easy to connect with; Gracie and Carmen are each sympathetic in their own way, yet likable and worth cheering for. Each one of us can probably relate to some aspect of this story or, at the very least, will be reminded of the fact that being a Christian does not preclude us from emotional struggles and weaknesses.

The title says it all --- you will most likely lose yourself…in this book. I found myself wanting more after the final page, but at the same time thoroughly satisfied with the ending. THE ART OF LOSING YOURSELF is a story that should be savored, and then passed on to a friend to enjoy.

Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on June 18, 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself
by Katie Ganshert