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Invisible: A Novel Paperback – April 1, 2013
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~-Marilyn Meberg, speaker and writer with Women of Faith, author of Constantly Craving
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Faith fiction is best if not tied up in a tidy salvation bow for everybody at the end. We instinctively want that, but there is authenticity when more than one unrepentantly unredeemed character populates the tale.
It's been a long time since I I longed to continue walking with a book's characters well beyond the last page, yet I will miss these four.
I found myself challenged by the notion of what it really takes to be a good friend. It may mean we need to behave in a way which annoys the other person. It is easy to choose the path of least resistance, wanting to come across as 'nice' by going along with our friends and letting them do what they claim they want to. But true friends risk objections, annoyance, rejection, and coming across as pushy. It takes intuitiveness and a willingness to be unpopular. This comes across in the friendship between Ellyn and Sabina especially.
Some readers may think this is a book about 'nothing', because each woman's heartache goes largely unseen by the wide world. Those who don't understand may think, 'Why don't they just snap out of it and use a bit of will power?', but although the characters' behaviour may seem trivial, their issues have the potential to ruin their lives. They may cause and prolong their problems by the patterns of their thoughts, but this makes it no easier to stop.
It's interesting to see how food is all tied up with the emotions. Hurting people, such as overweight Ellyn and anorexic Twila, may use it to try to control or help deal with their issues.
The overriding theme is that everyone is made in God's image (Imago Dei) and carries their own inner beauty which should not be concealed. For example, the story makes it clear that Ellyn's excess weight does not detract from her beauty at all, and is only a potential problem as far as her health and self-concept is concerned. It shows that part of being created in God's image is reflecting Him to others, yet it's hard to do this when you're mired in your own pain. Although we may have different manifestations of hurt, the underlying issues may be highly similar. For this reason alone, the book would probably strike a chord with every readers and deserves a high rating.
'He wants you for Himself. He wants to enjoy you, lavish you with His love, and complete the good work He's begun in you.' That goes for all of us who read the book.
Okay, it wasn't up to the high standards of her novel "Words", but "Invisible" rates a 4-star with me. I do hope, however, that my enjoyment of her other novel isn't an influence in that rating.
One fault I found was the first-person narratives by several persons in the story. Amazingly, the author was able to keep it unconfusing, but it wasn't without some effort on the part of the reader. She used the same two-person, first-person narrative in the other novel, but the transition from one person to the other was much easier and less confusing.
In all honesty, I think it was a good story and well-written, but I was also a little bit turned off by the almost constant sense of pain and hurt and depression and lack of self respect. A little bit goes a long way; a lot gets tiresome.
As you can tell, I really liked her novel "Words". Read it, you'll be glad you did. But read "Invisible", too, you'll like it.
What I can't control in my environment or with people, I can control with my own body. Fullness makes me feel I have enough. Since I keep myself full, I am rarely truly hungry. The hunger I experience is in my soul.
However, I am created in the divine image of God. My new prayer is that God will help me embrace that image, trusting God to be enough to satisfy my soul-hunger.
This is a life-changing message, beautifully told in story form. Usually, I read very quickly, skimming a lot. But I read every word of Invisible, slowly and deliberately, squeezing meaning out of each character's story. The depth of understanding Ginny Yttrup imparted to this beautiful affirming book is striking and haunting. It will stay with me in days to come, providing food for contemplation and self-exploration.