Friday, March 15, 2013

Lost and Found by Ginny L. Yttrup


It appears Jenna Bouvier is losing everything: beauty, family, and wealth. When her controlling and emotionally abusive mother-in-law accuses Jenna of an affair with her spiritual director and threatens to expose them, Jenna also risks losing her reputation as a woman of faith. Will she capitulate to her mother-in-law’s wishes again or fight for what she holds dear? As Jenna loses her life, will she find it?
Andee Bell has found exactly what she wanted: fame, fortune, and respect. There’s also a special man in her life—Jenna’s brother. Despite her success, a secret quells Andee’s contentment. As memories torment, will she find peace in a relationship with God, or will she sabotage herself while also taking down the only person she cares about? As Andee finds her life, will she lose it?
Moving between San Francisco and the Napa Valley, Jenna and Andee form an unlikely relationship that leads them to a crossroad. They can follow familiar inclinations, or risk it all and walk in faith.

Jenna and her husband Gerard live with his mother, who is controlling and manipulative. Nobody stands up to this woman! Where Jenna is sweet and loving, Brigitte is conniving and evil. The story also includes Jenna's father, brother, and her brother's girlfriend, Andee. Andee is focused solely on her career. This drive is fueled by the deep need to overcome a horrific childhood. As she betrays those who trust her, she realizes she needs something deeper from life. Something more.

I wanted to like this book. It was a really GOOD book. This book was filled with incredibly profound thoughts on faith, trust, and belief. The author really made me THINK.  It had interesting characters, and it kept me reading until the very last page. But that is where it lost me. And it is 100% NOT because it was not well-written, nor is it due to a lack of amazing life-lessons woven throughout the story. My problem with the book was that the story wasn't tied up in a sweet little bow at the end. It didn't end with the characters being blissfully happy. And that is MY failure as a reader.

As a girl, I didn't have much stability in my life. My escape from the every-day was reading. I read constantly. I would immerse myself in the stories and the characters. Books allowed me to be someplace else...someplace wonderful...someplace other than where I was. So, since reading was my ticket to another world, why would I choose to make that world sad? 

Unfortunately, this tendency has followed me into adulthood. I don't watch sad movies (I think I'm the only person on earth who has not seen Titanic - you know before you see it that it will end badly), and I avoid reading books from certain authors because they weave sadness into their plots (I have yet to make it all the way through a Danielle Steele novel, and don't even get me started on Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult). Give me a good Debbie Macomber novel any day - that woman knows how to write a light, happy story. I also enjoy Courtney Walsh and Amanda Cabot for the same reason: their stories aren't always light, but they wrap up their books in such an uplifting way. The only sadness comes from the fact that the book isn't longer. 

Now, I KNOW life isn't perfect, nor is it ever tied up in a sweet little bow. And I also realize I am missing out on some really great books because of this. I need to work on getting out of my comfort zone. Do you have a favorite genre of book? Have you thought about why?

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