Jenna Bouvier and Andee Bell are at a crossroads. Jenna is in danger of losing her family and her wealth when her mother-in-law accuses her of having an affair. Andee has what she wants---fame, fortune, and Jenna's brother---but she's haunted by a dark secret. Will they follow familiar paths, or risk walking in faith?
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Jenna Bouvier exhibits a faith that sustains her time and again in her challenging circumstances. She has her hands full with her mother-in-law, Brigitte and her husband Gerard's withering ways. Jenna, though quite privileged, could be so many women stuck in circumstances over which they feel they have no choices. I think the author made Jenna's lifestyle so wealthy to parallel her the rich man from the Bible (Matthew 19) who would have to give it all up to closely follow Jesus. Jenna walks out in faith in an amazing way. There's another story in there of Andee who has given up her life for a successful though empty career. Two great women to read about in a thought-provoking story.
Gerard and Jenna Bouvier live with his mother Brigitte. Gerard is the heir to the family wine business and he hopes that someday soon his mother will hand over the reins to him. Gerard has turned a blind eye to his mother’s abuse of his wife Jenna. Being in a marriage arranged pretty much by Brigitte Gerard and Jenna have spent their married life trying to please her. Feeling led by the Holy Spirit Jenna begins to seek what God would have her do in her situation. Seeking an outlet Jenna has begun a spiritual journey that she blogs about hoping to find her purpose and help others find theirs. In her quest to submit only to the Lord Jenna seeks the council of Matthew a spiritual guide. Never has Matthew been so touched by a client than he has been by Jenna. They have an instant spiritual connection. Brigitte has one goal in mind and that is to keep Gerard and Jenna under her control. Being the ultimate business woman Brigitte is determined that she will never allow her son to run the family business. She takes steps to ensure that Jenna too will remain in her power. Jenna feels the Holy Spirit telling her that a time of trial is coming. Her prayer throughout is that she will remain faithful no matter what comes her way. Throughout her circumstances Jenna knows in her heart that God will never leave her or forsake her, but when she no longer is able to feel the Holy Spirits presence she fears that once again she has become a failure. My Thoughts: As I’ve been processing Lost and Found since I finished I’ve been trying to think how to express how I felt at the end. As with every book I have read by Ginny Yttrup I found the subject matter thought-provoking and a story that stays with me for long after I finish reading. Ginny has a way of making the characters in her books touch a person’s heart. Her characters are very believable and consistent in their behavior. I feel like I become a part of their lives as I read. Each character is fully developed and able to produce all kinds of emotions in the reader. I totally disliked Brigitte’s character and found myself wanting something bad to happen to her! Jenna garnered sympathy and sometimes exasperation. Several other characters also gave me some strong emotions to deal with. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t care for Matthew’s character as a spiritual guide or some-such that he called himself. I thought he and Jenna risked falling into a relationship together outside of their marriages even though that didn’t happen I felt that in “real life” it would have. I also had problems with some of the charismatic and maybe “new age” material that to me was a bit over the top. I think the final message in the book is that we must be willing to lose everything and empty ourselves out to the Lord. He is the only one that matters.
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Review 3 for Lost and Found
A mystical and captivating read
Date:May 16, 2013
How I found Lost and Found is a bit unclear in my memory. Boy, am I glad I did, though.
Here's what I know: a friend retweeted a giveaway. I left a comment. I won a book. It came in the mail.
And I am changed as a result.
Lost and Found by Ginny Yttrup is loosely based on the life of Madame Jeanne Guyon, a French mystic whose life was marked by suffering and imprisonment for her beliefs. Yttrup takes Guyon's life and brings into the present in the life of Jenna Bouvier, a woman of faith with family ties to the California wine industry, who by marriage is wealthy yet who suffers mental anguish at the hands of her controlling mother-in-law.
The book follows Jenna's path to healing, bringing along her spiritual director Matthew and another young woman, Andee. Yttrup writes chapters in the first-person from the point of view of each of these characters and from the third-person POV of Jenna's mother-in-law, Brigitte. I'm especially fond of stories written this way, and I appreciate an author who can bring to life numerous characters and write from their perspective.
Lost and Found is Yttrup's second novel. I'm eager now to read her first. She makes the reader feel the emotions and struggles of these characters in a way I haven't before experienced in a novel. This is an incredible book. A must-read.
FAVORITES: The novel flows easily and the characters are believable and likable. Their struggles are real. Their responses to their circumstances are inspiring. I connected with them as I would if they were in the flesh. In short, I cared what happened to them, which meant I had a hard time putting the book down.
FAULTS: As I read, I found myself more and more interested in Madame Guyon's life. Her autobiography and book on prayer are next on my "to-read" list. Not really a fault of the book, but more a fault of mine for not having read these classic works before.
IN A WORD: Intense. I felt a heaviness, in a way, as I read. Like I was sharing in the characters' sufferings. It was a good intensity, though. One that propelled me forward in the story until it was finished.
I happen to win this book in a contest hosted by Ginny and it took me a while before I actually picked it up to read because I knew it was going to be a gut-wrenching novel! I was right in thinking this, but it was a good gut-wrencher! The passion that Ginny wrote into these characters spoke volumes about what it really means to pick up your cross and follow Jesus. I was so amazed at how Ginny weaves such a wonderful idea that I had not thought of before in that each Christian has their own special romance as well as dance with Jesus. Matthew says it best to Tess his wife: "'We each have an individual relationship with the same God and so we're all connected. It is a solitary dance, done together, in the presence of God'" (331).
Something else I really enjoyed about this novel was the power of the verses concerning Jesus being the vine and us the branches. When Jenna explains in her thoughts on how to combine an old vine with a new one I was amazed at the significance of Jesus' words! It's amazing that BOTH of the hearts have to be exposed in order to grow into one vine! There are some other really powerful verses that really gave me a new thought of the Scripture, but this one stood out to me the most!
Ginny writes the characters emotions and feelings with a deepness that stirs your heart! My heart broke for Jenna and Andee during their trials and rejoiced at the joy of discovering something new in their relationship with Jesus (even though Andee's relationship comes a lot later)! Overall an extremely great read that a person wouldn't want to miss! After finishing Lost and Found one can not help but think of what is standing in their way of giving their ALL to Jesus! Are we serving Brigittes in our lives that we didn't realize we were putting above God? Or money for that matter?
Simply put...this book is a masterpiece. There are so many layers to the story and characters that as you go deeper and deeper, it is impossible to not be affected in some way. For someone who may be going through their own spiritual journey, this book is chock-full of wisdom and insight into the plans that God has for his children.
What was most enlightening for me was the fact that on this side of heaven, I will never truly "understand" everything about God and his plans. That became clear as I looked at Proverbs 3:5-6 in a whole new way. So often I try so hard to know everything, including the things of God. I want to figure it all out, wrap it up in a package, and say, "Now, I've figured it out." But truly, who am I kidding? No one but myself. That's why those verses now have knew meaning to me. I'll never think of them the same way again.
This book is not for everyone. Granted, lots of folks should read it, but I guess what I mean to say is that if you're not spiritually prepared for the truths contained within, you may just cast it aside. In all honesty, I almost did that very thing. I had to get almost halfway through it before I really allowed myself to soak in its wisdom. So...bravo, Ms. Yttrup. You've given me a memorable experience with a novel that I won't soon forget.
Lost and Found is the second novel by author, speaker and life coach, Ginny L. Yttrup. Set in both the San Francisco Bay and Napa Valley areas, this is a multi-layered story with rich characterization that weaves the themes of emotional abuse and spiritual journeys through the lives of its main characters:
-- Jenna Bouvier, a woman of deep faith with family ties to the California wine industry, who lives under the controlling hand of her mother-in-law, Brigitte -- Gerard Bouvier, Jenna's husband, heir to Bouvier empire -- Brigitte, head of the Bouvier empire and wine label, Domaine de la Bouvier -- Andee, a successful businesswoman who hides a troubled past, with the mantra of drive determines destiny -- Matthew, a spiritual director who feels an immediate connection to Jenna because of their shared love for the Lord
Lost and Found revolves around two families in the wine industry and a financial advisor, Andee. Themes of emotional abuse, hidden past, and coping addictions are woven in the narrative in a non-condemning way. As Jenna and Andee grow in their spiritual journey throughout this book, they come to a crossroads where it seems that all might be lost. ________________________________
Columnist Rich Adin writes in The Digital Reader: "A quality read is one in which the characters are stimulating, are 'real,' are 'people' I want to know better, who have adventures I want to share. A second attribute of a quality read is that these characters are participants in a well-told story within which I, the reader, want to participate myself." Adin's words perfectly express my thoughts about Lost and Found, for I have rarely found this quality of writing in the inspirational fiction genre.
Lost and Found's strengths and appeal come from three areas:
-- Quality of writing - Ginny Yttrup is a wordsmith. One example, as Jenna reflects on Brigitte: "Brigitte's elegance sang like fine crystal and the song drew me."
-- Rich characterization - Characters are real, flawed. Jenna's thoughts about her husband: "There was a hopelessness to Gerard's existence. Not because he was without eternal hope - he believed - but because he didn't live out of that hope while he was alive. Instead, without meaning to, he placed his hope in his mother. His hope, his loyalty, his very life."
-- Spiritual themes - No simple prayer or the quoting of an occasional Scripture verse here. Each chapter is introduced by a foreshadowing quote from Madame Jeanne Guyon. Jenna and Andee's spiritual journey is slow and takes the reader along with them. The communion scene in the Napa Valley cave is an emotional highlight, as is Jenna's confidence that "God is still silent, but He is present."
I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy inspirational fiction, especially those who long for a more in-depth, literary style of writing.
This book was provided by B&H Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Jenna Durand Bouvier has been under the influence of Brigitte Bouvier since her mother died and Brigitte stepped in to guide and shape Jenna to what Brigitte envisioned her to be. Now that Jenna is married to Brigitte's son, Gerard, and living in her house, she finds that she is losing herself, to the point that when Brigitte suggests that Jenna's jawline is "too masculine," Jenna undergoes plastic surgery to try to please Brigitte's ideals. However, when the surgery goes wrong and Jenna is left with a lingering infection, she withdraws from the public eye and begins to search even more for God's presence and His will for her life. Sensing outside influences on Jenna that might bend her away from her plans for her daughter-in-law, Brigitte wields her considerable power to break Jenna and keep her in line. Will Jenna be strong enough to thrive? Or will she continue to bear what she considers to be her cross?
This book was intense. Jenna's search for God and her true desire to seek Him and do what was pleasing to Him was inspiring. I really hated Brigitte for what she was doing to Jenna, but wanted so badly for Jenna to overcome her situation. Jenna's search and struggles are so relatable that I think every reader could find himself or herself in her shoes. The overarching theme to Jenna's journey is "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Yet as I would imagine so many of us wonder, she says "The words play in my mind over and over. I try to rest in their truth. But the insistent accusations are hard to ignore. Why can't I rest in truth? Rest in my relationship with the One I know loves me most?" Even as Jenna struggles to find her own way and peace with God, she can't help but encourage and strengthen the people around her. She allows others, whom many would consider not in her class, to speak truth to her life, and she values them and their spiritual wisdom.
I feel that I can't do this review justice. There is so much I loved about this book that I could go on and on and on. I don't give many books 5 stars, but this one earned it. The writing was good, the characters were deep, and the spiritual truths presented were challenging. I even had to look up the author of the quotes presented at the head of each chapter, Jeanne Guyon, because there was such wisdom in her words. I will definitely be looking to read other works from Ginny Yttrup, because Lost and Found is not a book that will be forgotten quickly.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 8 for Lost and Found
I wish I could give this 10 stars
Date:March 27, 2012
Wow, Ginny Yttrup, this book is deeply profound. When I read Words last August (See August 25 short review), I thought I'd read a classic. This one beats it. I don't think any review will ever do it justice.
That being said, I'll review it anyway and hope you'll get enough of a taste that you will want to devour the whole thing. Warning: if you're looking for a romance, this isn't it. It is, however, about love.
Jenna Durand Bouvier married into one of the wealthiest families in San Francisco, owners of Domaine de la Bouvier. She's a seeker, searching for herself and for God in a world where He--and she, it seems--are unwelcome. And yet, it was her mother-in-law, Brigitte, who selected her, groomed her, to marry Gerard.
Gerard is much older than Jenna, yet they seem compatible somehow. They realized their marriage had been arranged by his mother, and they love each other. But with reservations.
Brigitte owns them, and all others in her scope of influence. Just ask her, she'll tell you.
Matthew is so totally out of their social status, and yet--and yet, there is something that clicks between he and Jenna. He is her spiritual advisor, and he is married, but there is something about her...if he could just put his finger on it.
Andee believes in drive determines destiny and very little else, except herself. She begins reading a popular blog called illuminar.me. She comments, at first to tell the clueless anonymous firstname.lastname@example.org that she could be making a bundle by putting ads on the blog.
Jason and his father own Azul Winery, a small but prospering business. Prospering until an old loan, waved off by the loaner, suddenly comes due.
When you blend these diverse temperaments and explosive tastes together, the champagne cork could blow.
Lost and Found is written by Ginny Yttrup and published by B&H Publishing Group.
Jenna Bouvier’s life is not all it seems. She has married into a rich family but money does not buy her peace and contentment. The story follows Jenna as she grows and becomes a woman rather then just someone only living for others approval. The other main character is a woman named Andee. She is looking for satisfaction in her life and work. It is the connection between these two main characters that keeps the story interesting.
The characters in the book are captivating. You will want to read more just to see how the characters react to each unique situation they encounter. The story itself is very in depth and moves at a quick pace. I enjoyed the story and even though there were parts that I found boring it still kept my attention till the end.
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
Jenna Durand Bouvier – Wife of Gerard Bouvier and Daughter-in-law to Brigitte Bouvier. Jenna has lived an unhappy life for years jumping through hoops to win her Mother-in-law’s approval. Will she ever win that approval?
Brigitte Bouvier – Mother to Gerard and Mother-in-law to Jenna. Owner of Domain de la Bouvier and Enterprises. Brigitte is a woman who is and must be in control of everyone and every situation. Out to destroy anyone who gets in her way. Will she destroy Jenna?
Andee Bell – Andee is involved with Jenna’s brother Jason. She is a highly successful business woman. Andee is hiding a past that has wounded her deeply. She is a woman who never lets her guard down, ever! Is she a friend or foe of Jenna’s?
Matthew MacGregor – Matthew is a Spiritual Director. Upon meeting Jenna he feels an immediate connection with her based on their mutual love for Christ. Can he help Jenna on her spiritual journey?
This book is about power, greed, control, emotional manipulation, and betrayal.
I found myself pondering who would allow themselves to be put through such long term emotional abuse and would they, could they walk away from such a lifestyle?
What type of person enjoys controlling another individual in this way? Why is power and control such a rush for them? Why is it necessary to prey upon a weaker individual?
This book took me through many emotions. I absolutely disliked that Jenna took everything that Brigitte dished out. Brigitte definitely was a force to answer to and how dare anyone go against her orders. I also had a hard time with Andee’s betrayal. What she did to get on the good side of Brigitte was something I had a hard time with.
When the Holy Spirit began working in the lives of Jenna, Andee, and Matthew it brought me to tears.
We may find ourselves in the same situation as Jenna and perhaps even Andee. Maybe we’ve already been there. This book will open the reader’s eyes allowing everyone to see that Christ is the answer. It is as simple as picking up our crosses and following him, denying all others who might be holding us back from our walk with Him.
This book has such a spiritual impact. Thank you Ginny L. Yttrup for making that happen. Your message comes across loud and clear.
Lost and Found is the first book of this author that I have read. It has left me thirsting for more.
I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of Lost and Found to read and review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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Review 11 for Lost and Found
Intense and Encouaraging
Date:February 3, 2012
The characters and the plot were very intriguing and evoked such intense emotions that I didn't want to put the book down until I had finished reading it. We are privy to the ongoing abuse which could leave the reader with great heaviness. Yet we are also encouraged, as are the characters, by the spiritual truths which are shared in a natural believable manner. I found myself highlighting many paragraphs.
Jenna, married to Gerard, famed vitner, both live under the controlling and suffocating rule of Gerard's mother Brigette. Jenna is always looking for ways to please Brigette, she seeks courage and comfort from God, yet she always feels inadequate, a victim of the lure of beauty gone wrong.
Andee, a successful businesswoman, whose drive to surpass her expectations of herself, encompasses her, grips and motivates her. She puts up walls around herself to hold her past life in and to keep others out. Her boyfriend Jason (Jenna's brother) supportive of her sees her as his other half.
Brigette, widow, has the upper hand in every business and personal tranaction concerning her winery and her family. A very strong and self assured person, she is in need of no help from anyone especially not God.
When tragedy strikes the family is forced to come together. Can they mend the hurt that separates them or will the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the present sever the bond they share?
This is a novel of life, of learning to live and learning to trust. A novel of heartbreak, betrayal, acceptance and God's perfect love.
Raw emotions gripped me holding my attention with every word. A well crafted novel that once I started reading found it impossible to put down. Character development surpassed my expectations as I felt I knew them. Dialogue and scenery worked very well together. This is one story I won't forget at least anytime soon. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future! I found the overall message inspiring and I was challenged in my faith. I would recommend this novel to others. Thanks to B&H Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.
If I could, I would give this one 6 stars...it is one of my favorites, here on out...
Intimacy. Power. Freedom. Love. Ginny has a way of writing so that the Holy Spirit pours out of the pages, and you are being taken for a journey right along with her characters. I rarely find deep spiritual insights, or words for my own Christian walk when I read a novel, but this book was so personal and so poignant and just so in tune with the many things I want to be in my faith, the many places I feel as though I’ve gone in that sojourn, and the many ways I wish I could express my relationship with Him.
I shared Jenna’s concern over whether or not other people were becoming more important than her Lord. I have heard the Spirit whisper that a storm was coming and confused his warning with an admonishment. I ache with Matthew, longing for a spiritual intimacy with another that eludes me. I am broken with Andee, knowing that sins of my past have led me to try to control my present, carrying all manner of real consequences. There are days when my uncertainty feels more real than my faith, and others when my relationship with Jesus looms large over every fear and concern.
This book touched my heart, and the experiences of the characters felt real and passionate and connected. My soul dances with my Savior, even when I lose my direction. The decision I made to follow Jesus was the best one I ever made, and he promises always to love me more than I can even begin to understand. He leads me. And I am grateful.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Jenna Bouvier feels trapped in her circumstances, trapped by the expectations placed upon her by her mother-in-law Brigitte and the demands of her social position. As Jenna battles her inner desires she must overcome her fears and the scars left by Brigitte's emotional abuse. She also forges an unlikely relationship with financial planner Andee Bell, who is conflicted by her own past and her need to control every aspect of her life. When Andee puts her own needs ahead of her ethics in order to win the trust of Brigitte, the result threatens everything Jenna has held secure, leaving her unable to lean on anyone or anything but God.
I found Lost and Found to be an absorbing read, as the focus shifted from Jenna's point of view to that of Andee and the spiritual director, Matthew, as well as some scenes from Brigitte's standpoint. While the switching back and forth from different points of view could make a novel confusing, the author is skilled at keeping the story moving and she uses the technique expertly.
The book is deeply introspective and plumbs the depths of our human condition and our relationship with God. The result is a novel that can seem slow at some points as the characters are stirring through their thoughts. However, the whole of the book is triumphant and the conclusion is true to real life. It doesn't provide a perfectly happy ending but instead shows how God's love can illumine our lives and guide us through the toughest of circumstances. I especially enjoyed the quotes from Jeanne Guyon throughout the story, which were full of deep truths and wisdom.
I give this book a strong recommendation and award it 4 out of 5 stars.
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher via the netgalley program.