“I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I’d like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoebox covered with flowered wrapping paper. I’d write my words on scraps of paper and then put them in the box. Whenever I wanted, I’d open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can’t take them.”
This is the beginning to one of the most riveting and touching pieces of Christian fiction I have read in a long time. In Words, young Kaylee, an eleven-year-old girl who has been abandoned by her mother and abused by her mother’s ex-boyfriend, lives in a world of silence. As a way to cope with her life, she memorizes the dictionary her mother left behind.
Sierra Dawn, a successful artist in her mid-thirties, deals with her own pain by shutting herself off from those who love her. When a chance meeting brings Sierra and Kaylee together, both of their lives are destined to change.
Powerful. Moving. Heartbreaking. Triumphant. Each of these words describe Ginny Yttrup’s first novel, and I could come up with many more like them. Ginny works with women affected by sexual trauma, and she masterfully uses her own life experiences to create an amazing story. Although there are parts of the book that are very disturbing, Ginny Yttrup handles them carefully, while still portraying the horror that sexual victims must endure. And while the characters in this novel must overcome serious issues, the message of the story is one of hope. As both Sierra and Kaylee come face to face with THE Word, they find the answers that help them move forward from the tragedies in their past.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. This is not a fluffly, happy story where easy answers are found in the end, but the characters will touch your heart, and you will not want to put the book down until you have turned the last page. Words is a story worth reading, and I hope you will pick up a copy for yourself.
Lauren is a wife, mother of two, and an avid reader. She thanks B&H Publishing for the review copy of this book. Lauren blogs at Baseballs and Bows.