Ivy Clark knows fashion and beauty. However, what she doesn't know is her own self-worth. After being thrust into the world of high fashion in New York City at the tender age of fourteen, Ivy has smiled for the camera, appeared in top magazines, and traveled the globe. But her glamorous life- and her father's rejection as a child- has left her empty and feeling her only worthwhile trait is her beauty. Fearing she will soon age out of the fashion scene as she approaches her 25th birthday, Ivy makes a desperate move to keep her career alive by agreeing to model her stepmother's new line of bridal gowns taking her to the small coastal town of Greenbrier, South Carolina. What Ivy did not anticipate was being paired with her stepmother's nephew, Davis Knight, as the photographer. Davis recognizes the hurt and brokenness that Ivy has buried deep within. With gentleness and sincerity Davis works to show Ivy her true inner beauty and worth as seen in God's eyes- a far cry from the lustful attention she normally receives from her fashion world steeped in sensuality and shallowness.
Ganshert superbly portrays Ivy's feelings of loneliness, isolation, and self-degradation painting a picture of a lost soul thirsty for love and acceptance. My favorite character in the novel, however, is Davis. Wary of Ivy's intentions at the start of the story, Davis quickly sees the hurting woman behind the mask of Ivy's outer beauty which propels him to convince Ivy of her worth in God's eyes as His beloved child. As his feelings for her begin to grow, he becomes exceptionally careful not to allow his attraction for her to show recognizing her fragile state and fearing she would view his attentions as the typical lust-filled advances she is used to. Ganshert's portrayal of true beauty from ashes, wholeness from brokenness, is refreshing!
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.
Katie Ganshert is the author of seven novels and several works of short fiction. She has won both the Christy and Carol Awards for her writing and was awarded the RT Reviews Reviewers Choice for her novel, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie makes her home in eastern Iowa with her family. To learn more, visit her website at http://katieganshert.com/.