Thursday, May 23, 2013


Story Description:


Baker Publishing Group|April 15, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-8007-2205-0

When Alexandra Kuykendall became a mother it was the beginning of a soul-searching journey that took her into her past and made her question everything she’d experienced – and a lot of what she hadn’t.  The only daughter of a single, world-traveling mother and an absent artist father, Alexandra shares her unique quest to answer universal questions.  Am I lovable?  Am I loved?  Am I loving?


In short, moving episodes, Alexandra transports readers into a life that included a childhood in Europe, a spiritual conversion marked more by questions than answers, a courtship in the midst of a call to be with troubled teens, marriage and motherhood – and always, always, the questions of identity.  Through her personal journey, women will discover their own path to understanding the shape of their lives and a deeper sense of God’s intimate presence within it.


My Review:

Alexandra Kuykendall remembers being in Barcelona, Spain in the hot July heat when she was just nine-years-old.  She wanted to know who she was and where she came from.  Alex was good at holding things in, so she willed herself to push her nerves and excitement down, piling them onto the mountain of questions and unease she’d been holding in all her short life.  She was hoping that today would be a new beginning as she was in a cab with her Mom on her way to meet her father for the very first time. 


Alex wondered why she’d never been told that her father lived here before she and her mother arrived for their vacation.  And, what had prompted her mother to look him up in the phone book just yesterday?  Why had she arranged this meeting? 

Alex and her mom were on the back end of a yearlong journey.  They had left the United States the summer before to move to Italy, where her mom found a job teaching English in a small factory town.  For an entire year they lived abroad but Alex missed the United States, especially Saturday morning cartoons and french fries and she was tired of being an outsider in a small town.  Finally, mom and Alex moved back to Seattle. 


When they finally arrived at the café, Alex was sorely disappointed in the man who was supposed to be her father.  She thought all dads were in their mid-30’s who wore business suits, had clean-cut hair and looked like models in the JC Penny catalogue.  This was not the man she met. 


He was her father alright, but not at all what she longed for, hoped for, nor was expecting.  Alex felt he wasn’t enough.  She also felt it terribly unfair that she should end up with a second hand model. 


What it was time to leave her father stood up and hugged her from the side.  Alex felt uncomfortable and the hug felt forced.  She expected to feel a familiarity with the man, but she didn’t.  But, she was still hopeful that when the awkwardness passed, when he knew her, she would know what it was to have a father’s love.  That huge, gaping hole would be filled in.


In her teenage years, Alex was introduced to God and began to explore her religious beliefs which eventually became a big part of her.  The relationship with her father remained sporadic over the years and did she ever truly feel loved and wanted by him?  Did she feel lovable?  The author does a wonderful job at getting these points across to the reader. 


The Artist’s Daughter gracefully unravels one woman’s life story in ways that the reader will be able to relate too. Alexandra Kuykendall explores the joys and boundaries of families and storytelling. 

 I would like to thank Graf-Martin for the reader’s copy of this book.


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