Invisible from Ginny Yttrup is a wonderful and rich story of the lives of three women and the God that loves them wonderfully. Each woman in the story has her own reason for wanting to feel "invisible" but most of it stems from shame. The story weaves together the healing that only God can give through His mercy and love and through the people He places in our path.
It is important to know that the book is written in first person, present tense. Which I must admit I really enjoyed. It draws you in so intimately to the core of each character. The chapters are unique to the voice of the characters and labelled well. Yttrup did an excellent job of making it easy for the reader to flow into the next mindset. Well-done!
I found the pace a little slow at first as the stage was set for each character and the beginning of their arcs. Yet, once I found myself in each of their skins it read smoother for me. The depth of the characters and their struggles drew me in deeper as the pages turned. Their growing friendship and developing faith journeys were enlightening to me and attended to some of my dry soul spots as well.
A fantastic read. A refreshing and inspiring message. A hopeful gift!
Be sure to check out Invisible.
Thanks to HandleBar Publishing for proving me a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HidingApril 1 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
It's been a long time since I read a really engaging fiction book. It seems as if all my recent reading material has been non-fiction. I love learning through non-fiction selections but there is nothing quite like losing yourself inside a world other than your own. Invisible by Ginny L. Yttrup instantly had me hooked.
Invisible follows the intermingling lives of 4 main characters: Ellyn, Sabina, Twila, and Miles. At first it's hard to imagine how these 4 can relate to one another as they are all very different people living in a small community. Eventually the tale begins to come together weaving their stories like a well planned quilt. Each one of them is facing an internal struggle. Something they must overcome. Will each one rely on their own strength or will they turn to one another? Can they find God in the midst of the battles?
I love Ellyn. She was comfortable and easy for me to relate to. A chef with a weight problem. While I'm no French trained restaurant owner, I do love to cook and I do tend to eat away my pain. Sabina is a mystery, an enigma, a hidden gem. Twila is easy to recognize hiding behind her mask but her overuse of the word "like" was distracting. Miles is the gentle mannered doctor that we'd all love to have on speed dial.
I am certain that their stories will envelope you just as they did me. The 300+ pages flew by. Come see why each of the 4 is seeking to be invisible.
I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review from Handlebar Central. All opinions are my own
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Invisible Helped me See!April 1 2013
Robbie Gail Iobst
- Published on Amazon.com
I finished Ginny Yttrup's Invisible yesterday but I know her words will stay with me for a long time. I simply loved her story. The best stories are the ones where a character's experience reminds you of your own and you find yourself drawn into the pages, living the story with them.
Ellyn Demoss, one of the novel's main characters, and I became good friends. Sound crazy? A little. But our God who uses all things to draw us to Him and He used Ginny's Ellyn Demoss to see myself a bit more through God's eyes.
Invisible tells the story of three women who each are hiding. Through their interaction and friendship with each other, hope is born. Through the truth of seeing that each of them are made in the image of God, healing comes. This isn't one of those novels I've read that made me laugh and cry or try to solve a mystery. It's not even a story that simply entertained me. This book changed my heart and made me take time to ask God some questions and listen to His answers. To me, that means this is an EXTRAORDINARY book.
I've read Ginny's other two novels, Words and Lost and Found, and both were wonderful in their own right. But Invisible got under my skin and pointed me to Christ's healing power that serves as a much needed ointment to those of us who deal with insecurity. We have trouble "seeing" ourselves like God sees us.
I'm in the process of losing a big ole pile of weight. I'm up to 44.5 pounds and continuing. Each day what I will eat or not eat and how I will exercise is forefront in my mind. God knew that we He led me to read Invisible. In an interview Ginny was asked: "You said in your letter to your readers that this book is not about weight issues or health issues--it's about freedom. In moments of stress or pain, how do you choose to walk in freedom rather than in shame?"
I attempt to live in freedom by giving thanks in all circumstances. It seems we have an idealistic view of freedom... It sounds so good, doesn't it? But freedom is often quite difficult and painful. Think of the Israelites freed from slavery--they had a painful road ahead of them. Were they free? Yes. Did it feel good? No. Or think about dieting... Which is freedom--eating as much chocolate cake as you want? Or disciplining yourself to have just one piece of chocolate cake, or one cookie, so you're free to enjoy good health and a strong body? Personally, eating as much cake as I want feels like freedom. But it isn't...
So by giving thanks in all circumstances I'm reminded in those painful times that my turmoil here is temporary. By focusing on God and His goodness, even when my circumstances are screaming the exact opposite, I'm able to live with an eternal view and look ahead to that day when freedom will feel like the freedom I've imagined. When I'll trade this temporal life, filled with trials, for eternity spent in the presence of Jesus Christ. I can't wait!
I've been studying Galatians in an effort to find freedom in this weight loss journey. It is the enemy's aim to tie me up in bondage to numbers on a scale and nutritional facts and reps at a gym. I haven't achieved that freedom, or balance, as yet, but reading Invisible helped me a great deal.
If you want a great story, read Invisible. If you want to put yourself in a position to have God feed your soul about the fight with insecurity, read Invisible. If you want to take a step toward freedom and believe that God can do that for you through a novel, then go and read Invisible. I simply loved this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
InvisibleApril 1 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
"Invisible" by Ginny L Yttrup, book review
Three women make up the main characters in this new novel set in Northern California.
Ellyn- owner and executive chef of the town's most popular restaurant. She is loved my staff and customers, but does not really like herself and is very self conscious of her weight.
Sabina- comes to Mendocino to escape. She rents a house overlooking the bay for a year. She is a practicing counselor, but at this point she needs counseling, and healing.
Twila- works at the local health food store and is following a vegan diet. She has battled an eating disorder, but is now on the other side. Or is she?
In "Invisible" each of the ladies want to be invisible or have an invisible problem, that really only God can heal. Through out the novel, the characters interact and through the weeks actually begin to help each other heal, and at the same time, begin healing for themselves.
The book has short chapters, titled with a character's name, so it is very easy to follow. It is very easy to read, and would make a good beach vacation take along. Although, if you are battling with a problem that is similar to the character's it might be a bit harder for you to read. I did get a little insight into how to help friends who are going through a really hard time.
Disclaimer: I received this book from B and H Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hiding in plain sightApril 1 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Years ago I watched a movie starring Barbara Streisand called The Mirror Has Two Faces. I can't remember much about the movie except that Bryan Adams sang on the soundtrack (and I was practically in love with Bryan Adams) and the female lead was not confident about her appearance or her attractiveness to men.
I could relate.
When I looked in the mirror, I didn't like what I saw, and I didn't believe anyone else who said they saw something different.
Almost 20 years later, the struggle isn't as intense, but it's still a battle. And it's this image battle that novelist Ginny Yttrup writes about in her new book Invisible.
Ellyn is the owner and head chef of a restaurant in Mendocino, California. She's also overweight, has never had a relationship with a man and she's skeptical when a widowed doctor, Miles, shows interest in her. She hears a voice in her head (she calls him "Earl") that constantly puts her down. She loves butter. (Who doesn't?)
Twila works at a shop owned by her mom. They specialize in herbal medicines, organic foods, and natural products. Twila bears a tattoo of thorns on her face, a mark of solidarity with those who suffer. She is thin and recovering from an eating disorder (she calls it "Ed") and re-establishing a healthy relationship with food.
Sabina has come to Mendocino to escape. She's a therapist carrying a suitcase stuffed with guilt and battling depression. She's on a break from her practice, her family and God. Each day is a struggle to get out of bed.
Ellyn befriends Twila and Sabina and as the three of them get to know each other and their "issues," they realize they aren't as different as they might seem on the outside. Each of them, with the help of the others, is on a journey to discover who they are and why they've hidden behind food, an eating disorder and professional success.
I don't know how she does it, but Yttrup creates characters that could walk off the page and into your living room. Invisible is an honest look at what happens in the female mind, and how distorted our view of ourselves can be. I found myself able to identify with each woman for a different reason.
This quote is one of my favorites from the book: "Beauty is more than a number on the scale. It comes from the soul."
And if you like the writings of Christian saints, you'll appreciate Yttrup's inclusion of quotes from St. Augustine at the start of each chapter. A quote from his writings plays a major role in the theme of the book. (Yttrup did this with Madame Guyon in her last book, Lost and Found. I appreciate the ancient-modern connection.)
Yttrup has a unique style. Each chapter is written from the first-person perspective of one of the characters. Sometimes I had to go back and remind myself who was talking, but the chapters are short and the movement of the characters toward wholeness is fluid and hard to step away from.
I enjoyed reading this book on my own but think it would be even more meaningful in a discussion group with other women. So, if you're looking for a book club read or you have a group of girlfriends who like to read and talk, I'd put this one on the list.
In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of Invisible from Handlebar Marketing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Invisible by Ginny YttrupApril 1 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
The storyline explores the unlikely friendships of three women: Ellyn, an overweight chef with a penchant for butter; Twila, a nutritionist battling the eating disorder anorexia; and Sabina, a counselor who has difficulty handling her own grief. The intertwining of their lives brings to light a common theme--they all want to hide...run...at times be invisible. Why?
Ellyn's former physician, Miles, wants to pursue a relationship with her, but her weight convinces her she is unworthy of love as she listens to the "voice" of condemnation in her head. She's named that voice Earl, and this misbehaving bully has been with her most of her life.
Twila's absent father left her with abandonment issues which manifested into an eating disorder. Rehab and faith in God brought her through, but when her dad reappears unexpectedly, old issues are triggered and she's fighting the battle again.
Sabina takes a leave of absence from her counseling practice and husband after assuming responsibility for a patient's suicide--but makes little progress until she admits that only God holds the power of life and death.
Imago Dei--you are created in the image of God--is the ever present theme in the book, and one the women come to embrace as they learn to listen to God's voice of acceptance and affirmation, and allow His healing.
INVISIBLE is Ginny's third novel, and like her first two, does not disappoint. Characters become dear friends, (sequel, please), and her lyrical writing style makes for smooth reading. Her issue-driven fiction always hits my heart with sharpshooter aim, allowing me to hear God's voice through her words.
Plan on throwing something in the crockpot before you start the book--I couldn't stop to dial Round Table, or even make as much as a peanut butter sandwich.