Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ginny Yttrup's Words ~ Reviewed

By Ginny L. Yttrup
Published by B & H
363 Pages

Back Cover: "I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.
Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.

REVIEW: “I can’t talk. I can’t breathe. Tears choke me.”

That’s exactly how I felt when I read the last page of this book. I’m thrilled to have received a review copy of such an astounding, debut novel. I haven’t read anything this profound, inspiring and life changing since Redeeming Love and June Bug. The author is a master wordsmith and trusts the readers’ imagination to fill in the blanks about the abuse Kaylee endures and talks about it without being graphic. Ginny L. Yttrup has overcome sexual abuse in her own life, is compassionate towards its victims and has penned a story filled with healing and hope. Ginny shows the reader a way to shine the light of Jesus in the darkest places of life in a real way.

Kaylee is a ten year old girl fascinated by words. Words are a colorful protective shield she uses to give her hope and clarify things she doesn’t quite understand. Kaylee is a bright and loving child surviving day after day anticipating her mother’s return.

I enjoyed Ginny Yttrup creative writing style. It was fun to read and had a powerful impact to the story, for example Kaylee says, “my favorite C word - co-loss-al. It means awesomely huge.”

She uses it to describe the colossal redwood trees she loves. The tree is her special place to hide her earthly treasures and new words. The author’s style adds richness to the novel and gives Kaylee a distinctive way of expressing herself.

“I’m so hungry I could eat the scrambled egg in one bite. Instead, I try to make it last, make it seem like more. I take tiny bites. I think of a word that I added to my box this week.

Sa-vor – verb 1) to perceive by taste or smell, esp, with realism 2) to give oneself to the enjoyment of: savor the best in life.

Yes, I savor each bit of my eggs.”

This author’s unique voice allows the reader to experience and see the healing power of love in action. This book is not preachy but potent. The message is clear “Jesus is the word – the most important word”

Ginny had me going in parts of the story I thought I had figured out, and threw in twists I didn’t see coming. Parts were surprising, suspenseful and I found myself nervous for the characters. This book is quite an experience, one you’ll never forget and don’t want to miss. This novel is one of the reasons why I read and promote Christian Fiction. I highly, highly recommend it. Treat yourself to reading Words. I don’t know where Ginny will go from here but I’ll be following.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

The Book Club Network

Bonus Review:

Brilliant, brave and beautiful are the words that come to my mind when I ponder Ginny Yttrup's debut novel, Words, a story that is captivating and generates tears of sadness and joy. Drawing from her own experience of abuse, Ginny invites readers, with skill and sensitivity, into young Kaylee's traumatized world revealing her fears and her determined spirit. Sierra is a complex character whose battle with loss and devastating guilt will resonate with anyone who looks back on their life choices with regret. Words is a compelling reminder that while tragedy and sin are confronting and soul shattering, there is hope and healing to be found in the forgiveness and grace Jesus offers. I cannot speak highly enough of this new found talent and I look forward to reading many more of her books to come.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Bonus Review:

“There isn’t a word for what I feel.” (p. 125)

Sierra Dawn and Kaylee Wren are people for whom words cannot begin to name the hurt that they feel and the pain they have suffered. Sierra, at the point in her life we meet in the story, is a thirty-four year old artist struggling beneath the stronghold of her past. Kaylee Wren is a ten-year-old that lives in the daily nightmare of poor choices created by her drug addicted mother. When these two lives intertwine, God sets in motion a miracle of love and grace, mercy and healing that only He could orchestrate. The journey is both painful, and beautiful, and it is one you will remember long after you read the final page.

Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel, Words, is a well-written story about some very difficult life circumstances. Sadly, the circumstances are all too real in many lives that have become enslaved to a variety of addictions. The resulting chaos and pain are vividly set forth in this novel alongside the wonderful grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father who does indeed redeem us from the vilest situations. He loves us in ways we cannot begin to fathom, and he never wastes a moment to share his glorious grace throughout our every circumstance.

Ginny Yttrup has captured truth – God’s truth – so beautifully and so poignantly that at times my heart ached so badly that I simply had to put the book down. However, by the end of the story, tears of pure delightful freedom ran down my face as I rejoiced in the truth of this story and all it means in my own life.

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

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