Friday, May 25, 2012

My Review of Wildflowers from Winter

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an 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 while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance 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. So when Bethany is left the land, he 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 she’s not even sure exists?

To read the first chapter for free, click here."

My Rating


My Review

Emotions run deep and grief is piled on thick in Wildflowers from Winter - but that makes the glimpses of growth and revelations and hope blossom all the brighter. Various types of relationships and the process to either restoring them or giving them a chance are explored within these pages, including relationships between family, friends that have drifted apart, and potential lovers who just need a little bit of understanding and encouragement. Ganshert shows how grief can lead to fragility, and yet she also shows how grief, when treated tenderly and given its due, can give way to a new season of strength and appreciation of life.

Sometimes the darkness of resentment and fear that's portrayed makes it difficult to completely sympathize with the characters. It's easy to get frustrated with Bethany for her selfish choices, and it's tempting to want to rush her through her healing process. While it would have been nice to see more of the positive side of her character, the stories from her past (told in first-person) and the obvious hurting she experiences make it hard to give up on her.

And it's beautiful to see her share the journey to healing with Robin - an old friend who is dealing with a horribly painful loss. The interactions between Robin and Bethany, and between the hero and Bethany, are oftentimes jerky - in a one step forward, two steps back sort of way - and yet the healing and the hope come in a soft but glorious fashion. This is a journey that's worth sharing with the characters, and the focus on life, as well as good coming from difficulties, is bright, indeed.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Beautiful Things

The author noted on her website that this song ("Beautiful Things") offered the musical inspiration for this book. I have to say, the song fits so well, and it's so powerful! I had the opportunity to listen to the choir my sister sings with (Messiah School of the Arts - which I used to sing with, as well) perform this song this past weekend, and...wow. What a beautiful performance, and what a beautiful, hopeful message!

 

You can buy the book on Amazon.com today! And U.S. residents, be looking for a chance to win a copy of Wildflowers from Winter next week here on the blog!

4 comments:

Casey said...

I loved this book. Made my 2012 Best List!!

Amber S. said...

Casey,

Yes, it's a great book! Katie is quite talented. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

Katie Ganshert said...

Hey Amber - just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time to read and review my debut novel! Very much appreciated!

Amber S. said...

Katie,

Aww, you're welcome! :) I appreciated the chance to read and review it for you! It's a great debut!

~Amber