Ginny L. Yttrup
B&H Publishing Group, 2012
Have you ever read a novel that speaks to your soul? One that gives you gut checks as you read? That's exactly what happened as I read Ginny Yttrup's sophomore novel, Lost and Found.
In this story, Jenna Bouvier loses things: watches, diamonds ... her health, beauty, and worst of all, herself. She and her husband, Gerard, live with her mother-in-law, Brigitte, who manipulates everything and everyone around her. She's controlled her son to the point of making him a weak man, one who's afraid to stand up for his wife. All Jenna wants to do is please Brigitte, and she loses herself in the process.
Adding substance to this story is Andee Bell, a powerful businesswoman with a scarred past, someone who refuses to be hurt again, and Matthew MacGregor, a quirky spiritual director who guides Jenna, trying to help her find herself again.
This story explores emotionally destructive relationships and what it means to take up your cross and follow Jesus. When you look at your life, whom do you aim to please? Your husband maybe? How about your father? Maybe a friend? To what extent will you go to try to win their approval? What will you sacrifice? In Jenna's case, she sacrificed who she was. Her desire to please her mother-in-law transcended pleasing God. In effect, she'd made her mother-in-law her idol.
Jenna's journey to finding herself again, with the aid of Matthew, is a beautiful story. I especially enjoyed Matthew's character. I loved his unleashed love of God and his ability to see God in others. His joyous attitude added the perfect touch of levity to an otherwise very serious book.
My one minor complaint has to do with the back cover copy (see Back Cover Copy or Synopsis). It gives away too much information, including a plot point that doesn't happen until near the end of the book. So, if you don't like spoilers, avoid reading the description. Even so, knowing this will not spoil your enjoyment of the book.
Author Ginny Yttrup has proven herself to be a top-notch novelist with Lost and Found, following up last year's phenomenal debut, Words. She not only tells a great story, but she has the gift of changing your heart. Her characters are multi-faceted and very believable. Her prose sings, melding together story and character to create a stirring concerto. I can't wait to read more from Ginny Yttrup.
Ginny L. Yttrup is an accomplished freelance writer, speaker, and life coach who also ministers to women wounded by sexual trauma. She has two grown sons and lives in California.
Jenna Bouvier's blog: http://iluminar.me/