Books Worth Reading

Book Review: Stars Upside Down

Stars Upside Down by Jennie GoutetJennie Goutet and I have led very different lives, though both started in Central New York. It’s not external experiences that make me feel she’s a kindred spirit, but our internal experiences. Experiences that will make her memoir resonate with others who struggle with depression and doubt.

Honestly, there were times I was envious reading about how far Jennie has been from here, and of lovely things she has experienced… like her wedding, and her yard, oh, excuse me, garden… I’m so American – which may sound funny, as in how do you experience a yard?!? Until you read the description of her garden…

She lives in France with her French husband, like she dreamed as a teen, for crying out loud. The most foreign place I’ve been is Toronto. I rode there on a big, yellow school bus with other kids from my small high school to see Phantom of the Opera, and we were home that night. The furthest I’ve flown is Florida. Twice. The first time I was six. My clearest memories are of being snipped at by my great-aunt’s Chihuahua, and my concern over the leakiness of our submarine at Disney World. Oh, and I saw a fake mermaid out its window. Good grief, it was even before Epcot was built. Though there was that tortoise at Gatorland Zoo…

I may never feel sufficient, but I know God is all-sufficient. Click To Tweet

My review of Jennie’s memoir is becoming my own! And maybe that’s one thing that makes a memoir good: It not only invites us into someone else’s life, but allows us to take a fresh look at our own.

It’s when I compare I get in trouble; when I enter in, I’m blessed.

Stars Upside Down book review... Blessed by others' storiesI don’t envy Jennie’s experiences of depression and soul-crushing doubt, of herself and of God. I’ve had beyond enough experience in that area. But there’s no point in life when everything gets wrapped up in a tidy bow to sit neatly on a shelf. Jennie doesn’t leave us with a false impression that everything is perfect and that she has everything under control in a mess-free life.

I take away a much-needed reminder that we may never feel sufficient, but we can learn to trust that God is all-sufficient.

We all experience loss and heartache as we go through life, and even if your suffering has come in different forms than Jennie’s, you will recognize her heart’s cry. The Christian walk is also a process of chipping away at the things that hamper our connection with God, and mar Christ’s image in us; that’s not always pleasant, either, but oh, so, worthwhile.

Chances are, if you find my experiences shared on this blog useful, Stars Upside Down will speak to your heart. I don’t want to give too many details, because I want you to experience the unfolding of Jennie’s story for yourself. Please read it!

Looking for a good read? Check out this review of Jennie Goutet's memoir Stars Upside Down! Click To Tweet

Stars Upside Down is available through Amazon, in paperback and Kindle editions. (You can also read more details of the story I’ve been so stingy on by clicking one of the links below.)


If you’re interested in a Kindle edition but don’t have a Kindle device, don’t worry! You can download the FREE APP to read on your Android device or computer! I read Stars Upside Down on my phone; so convenient!


For more from Jennie Goutet, check out her blog, A Lady in France. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Stars Upside Down

    • I wish I were better at remembering to NOT COMPARE! Jennie’s story has been such a blessing. I hope you have the opportunity to enter into it, too!

  1. Isn’t her book amazing? I am in the middle of it, and it speaks to my heart in so many ways. I love her authenticity and transparent writing. What an incredible life she has lived and her story of faith inspires me daily. Thanks for such a beautifully personal review!

  2. I love this review so very much, Melinda. You’re right – a memoir is supposed to make us examine our own lives and I’m so glad you shared some of yours here.

    Ha! The yard! I have to take a picture of our garden right now and send it to you. It’s not pretty with all the construction. I think the only reason it gets called a garden is that the plots of land (and cars and houses and refrigerators) and so tiny. No room for a yard or much else! Maybe a little rose bush. 😉

    I teared up reading your review too. Our experiences are kindred even if mine took me to the other side of the world. xo

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