Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: Lost and Found

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.

The strengths and appeal of Lost and Found 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 and H Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I think this is one I will take a look at. Thanks for the review!

    It's really odd -- but interesting -- that prominent use is made of Guyon. I don't see 15th century French mystics quoted a lot in Christian fiction!

  2. I just finished this book Carole and noticed on Goodreads you had reviewed it. I just had to come see what you wrote!
    So much of this book resonated with me.
    I do believe I really enjoy Ginny's style. She can truly touch the heart of matters.

    Praying all is well with you!! Thanks for stopping by the blog recently! Its always a pleasure to hear from you.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed Ginny's book, Amy! It's one of my all-time favorites. I think you'd like another book of her, Invisible . . .

      Ginny's one of those talented writers that has a hard time getting a book contract with major publishers. Another contracted book got canceled when B&H closed their fiction line and she's trying to publish one independently now. Sure hope it works out for her.

      I wish we lived closer so we could visit, Amy!