Wildflowers From Winter By Katie Ganshert
Waterbrook Press, May 8th, 2012
Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.


A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Bethany Quin is more than a little angry about returning home to Peaks, Iowa and mostly terrified about the past being in her face again. She has a lot of anger and resentment stored up for certain people in the town and a truck load of guilt surrounding her childhood best friend. As Bethany is forced to work through the pain of her childhood and face up to the things she ran from, she does in deed find that after the winter comes the spring.

Another new author for me to read. Katie Ganshert is a treasure of a find. She has written a well paced, character driven, heartfelt novel full of lovely prose mixed amongst some great scenes of character interaction. It’s clear she is not afraid to write about conflict both internal and when the characters interact.

I loved the depths probed in this book and found the issues of lost hope, shattered expectations and new life brought to life with beautiful writing and honest prose. Bethany is at times really mean and I didn’t always like her actions, but I always wanted her to overcome the issues in her way. I loved how Evan Price wasn’t afraid to stand up to Bethany and call it like it was. Both are well rounded characters, strong and all too human.

I really liked the issues of faith presented in this story too. It was presented differently in genuine faith as compared to shallow or “fake” faith that only traps people, rather than setting them free. It’s the first novel I’ve read that tackles the faith issues from that perspective.

So a great read and I will be reading more from this great author.