Bethany Quinn is a young lady with a lot of anger in her heart and a lot of questions to ask. She is also very defiant as we learn in the Prologue of book, when asked why she tried to commit suicide at the tender age of twelve. She never reveals that secret to Dr. Nowels nor her mother and especially not the pastor, Mr. Fenton. As she puts it, “my decision was much less about escaping this world and much more about joining another.” (See first page of Prologue) I knew from the title that there was life lost and a new beginning was going emerge somewhere from the gray of winter. While winter lets the earth rest Spring lets the earth get dressed up again with brightly colored everything from flowers to trees to green grass.
Reading the novel, I understood the reasoning behind Bethany’s defiance and why she tried too hard to remain that throughout her stay in her small Iowa town. Chicago was her safety net, a way to forget her roots, the trauma she experienced and somehow to escape her idea of who God was. Bethany resembles many of us, who may have questions but just don’t who to ask. Or may be afraid to ask thinking we may viewed as weak and dependent.
The author, Katie Ganshert, gives some background through the main character’s narration from her past experiences as a child in Peaks, IA where she is now ten years divorced from and four years into a successful career as an architect. Seems fitting that architect would the career path for Bethany, as she is trying to build a new life for herself, one with better memories than what she endured as a little girl. Her new life is kinda of protective shield, keeping her from facing the hurt and moving on with the future.
I think with issue of either selling the farm or not selling farm and helping her friend Robin really helped to bring Bethany back down to earth. This is a real test of faith for her, as she constantly questions how important God is and why should anyone need Him. She finally realizes that it’s okay to ask for help, that God is real and He’s not evil, He just has His own of way getting through to us. And boy did He work to break through to Bethany. God used those various situations to crack open that protective shield that Ms. Quinn had been hiding behind all those years, to show her human side, her real self.
My congratulations go out to Ms. Ganshert, who has written very engaging novel. This is one that any reader can relate to, who have ever been in conflicting situations. Ms. Ganshert demonstrates God’s love throughout the novel with the help of the supporting characters. They help lift Bethany up just as the wildflowers were beginning to bloom in spring. Like Ms. Quinn, we realize we too are worthy, and yes, we are valuable to Him. The wildflowers helped spread the word.
I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press to review.
Author’s website: http://katieganshert.com/
For a sneak peak read Chapter One: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2011/12/09/sneak-peek-wildflowers-from-winter-by-katie-ganshert/
More information: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307730381
For the author’s biography: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=145407