Ellyn DeMoss — chef, café owner, and lover of butter — is hiding behind her extra weight. But what is she hiding? While Ellyn sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him. Sabina Jackson — tall, slender, and exotic — left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. What’s she hiding from? Is it God? Twila Boaz has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, though she longs to hide, she instead follows God and fights for her own survival. But will she succeed? As these women’s lives intertwine, their eyes open to the glory within each of them as they begin to recognize themselves as being created in God’s image.
Invisible begins on a light note with Ellyn admitting her love of butter but concerned that she might just love the substance more than she loves God. It’s a comical question, but has a serious connotation: do we put material things – including food – before God? Going deeper, we learn that Ellyn is deeply ashamed of being overweight, feeling that she’s disappointing those around her because of her health issues. We don’t know how much she weighs, but perhaps the number doesn’t matter. Ellyn has a very negative self-image, thanks to events in her past. On the opposite end of the scale, we have Twila who is recovering from an Eating Disorder. Can these two be friends and see the truth of who they really are?
There are other characters in Invisible, such as Sabina and Miles, but I want to focus on Ellyn. Her story spoke personally to me. I might not care for butter but, even as I write this, I’ve got a bag of M&Ms in front of me. I’ve got to have the M&Ms. I understand the negative self-image Ellyn had and the difficulty in accepting praise from others. Whenever I’ve made a comment about needing to lose weight, I’ve always been laughed off and told that I look fine. (My husband is great at this.) But the numbers on the scale and in the magazines tell me a different story. They tell me I’m overweight, and there’s also that voice in my head from my past telling me I’m fat and laughing about it. I nodded my head in agreement at many moments in Invisible and, when I got to the section that reveals a pivotal moment in Ellyn’s past I gasped… and then I cried. I had thought I was alone, but a stranger has written a book that assured me I wasn’t.
Invisible looks at how we see ourselves, how the world sees us, and how God sees us. He created us in His image, so we must be pretty near perfect, right? But the devil sits on our shoulder, whispering in our ear, and making us think the opposite. He will especially target Christians to ensure we do have these insecurities about ourselves. Yes, this is a Christian novel and non-Christians may find it preachy, especially when Twila shares what she’s learned from her ED experiences. I actually think Twila would make a good preacher – she knew what she was talking about, and she’s caring too. If you’ve ever been down on yourself and fallen into the pit of despair, this is a book for you. Yes, it’s fiction and there’s no way I’ll change overnight, but it’s reminded me of where my focus should be at.
Thank you to B & H Books for my free electronic copy of Invisible, which I downloaded from NetGalley. No review was required.
Publisher: B & H Publishing
Publication Date: 01 April 2013
Page Count: 352