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This is the kind of book that has plenty of quotable moments. Moments that made me tear up. The theme of A Broken Kind of Beautiful is, in fact, beautiful. Redemption, grace, forgiveness, inward beauty...
"...the hard is what makes us who we are. The hard is usually what God uses to draw us closer. If I have to choose between what's easy or what will bring me closer to Him, I pray my choice will be Him." - A Broken Kind of Beautiful
"The girl with the haunted eyes reentered his life on the other side of a lowering casket, humidity and the shrill song of cicadas tangling together in the South Carolina heat."
Ivy Clark isn't your typical Christian fiction heroine. She doesn't know the Lord, and she isn't interested in hearing about Him. Her own father wanted nothing to do with her, so why would God? She's a model, but that life is rapidly sucking the life right out of her until she believes she's nothing more than a beautiful shell. Sure, men are attracted to her and she's known fame. But what does that matter when she's miserable?
Watching Ivy discover the power of redemption--the fact that the Lord loved each and every one of us enough to pay the price to save us--was a pleasure. Everything about this book is realistic. Ivy doesn't hear about Jesus once and decide to follow Him right away. No, she's too broken, too calloused, to accept that the Creator of the universe wants her, of all people. Through friends such as Davis Knight, she realizes the truth. That God most definitely wants her. He wants to redeem her and make her His. To wash away her sins and make her whole again.
Is there a greater message to be shared in a novel? I think not.
I could go on about Davis and Sara and Marilyn, but I truly recommend you buy this book and discover these characters yourself. The author's writing style is lyrical, sticking you in the Southern summer setting so fully that you'll feel the itch of mosquitoes and gritty sand sliding over your fingers.
A Broken Kind of Beautiful was my first taste of Katie Ganshert's novels, and I'm looking forward to reading her other two.
From the Back Cover:
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 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 façade she works so hard to maintain. In fact, it seems that everyone Ivy comes across in Greenbrier challenges what she 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?