Jennie 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…
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.
I 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!
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.
You can find this and other worthwhile Christian content at the following link-up: