4.3 95
by Ginny L. Yttrup

View All Available Formats & Editions

"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 shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. 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

…  See more details below


"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 shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. 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."

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.

Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.

Acclaim for Words:

"First-time novelist Yttrup writes a riveting, emotionally charged story . . . page by page, word by word, this talented author proves the adage 'Write what you know.'"

Publishers Weekly

"Ginny takes us on a path from pain and struggle to joy and wholeness as her characters discover that the author of Truth is the way to freedom and healing. Sexual abuse may not be your story, but most certainly you will have someone in your life for whom this is a reality. Read it for them. Read it for yourself. And read it for those around the world who’ve yet to be set free."

Barbara Wilson, author of The Invisible Bond

"It's hard to believe this is Ginny L. Yttrup's debut novel. She beautifully and effectively weaves a story of trust, sacrifice, truth, new beginnings, freedom and unconditional love. Here are 334 pages of words that may very well leave you speechless."


"An astounding, debut novel. I haven't read anything this profound, inspiring and life changing since (Francine Rivers') Redeeming Love."

Finding Hope through Fiction

"Yttrup's journey of healing, redemption and faith is gorgeous, uplifting, difficult at times, but oh so beautiful and stunning . . . I loved this book."

Fiction Addict

"From start to finish Words had my heart and mind. I found myself thinking about the book when I needed to be sleeping. Author Ginny L.Yttrup has truly allowed the truth and the Truth to set her free."

Live, Learn, Love

"A captivating story with the message of hope and restoration . . . touch(ing) on a topic that makes me sick and boiling mad. Yttrup writes from the depth of her own life experiences and her stories will resonate with many women and provide hope for their pain."

Five Star Books

"This is the type of story that resonates with you long after you've closed the book . . . A powerful, moving story that readers will quickly connect with."

Cafe Lily

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First-time novelist Yttrup writes a riveting, emotionally charged story about a 10-year-old sexual abuse victim, Kaylee Wren, who has literally lost her voice in the aftermath of ongoing trauma. Kaylee, living with her mom's abusive boyfriend after her mother abandons her, turns to the world of words for her comfort and sanity. Smart as a whip, Kaylee sounds out words in her mind and links words and phrases far beyond comprehension for her age as she puzzles out hour-by-hour survival. Enter the 30-ish Sierra Dawn, a grief-stricken artist whose own infant daughter died 12 years earlier. When these two meet, there is a supernatural connection. Rescuing Kaylee from her tormenter is only the first step to freedom for both of these characters, as they walk toward wholeness. Yttrup's story is particularly powerful as it in part mirrors her own painful past. Page by page, word by word, this talented author proves the adage "Write what you know.". (Feb.)

Product Details

B&H Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Words 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
A Novel Ginny L. Yttrup 2011 B & H Books Fiction/Christian/General Reviewed by Cindy Loven WOW! This book is not casual reading material. It does need to be said that this book deals with mature subject material. However the sad thing is mature subject material incidents, do not always apply to adults only. A story of redemption, a story of the grace of God and a story of the horrors of drugs, child pornography and child molestation. You may ask yourself, how does a story of this ramifications have a place in Christian fiction. Unfortunately in this fallen world we live in, horrible things happen to children every day and we as Christians can no longer turn a blind eye. This is the story of two people, who you would never expect to find together, a successful artist, trying to escape the hell of the emotional darkness she lives in, after loosing her baby due to her own drug abuse. A little girl lost in the woods, trapped by her emotional muteness, hoping her mother will some day come back and take her away from the monster of a man who abuses her sexually. God in His mercy and His own understanding brings these two people together, not by chance but by plan, to each find their own healing and way through the darkness they are in. This story will grip your heart. I cried buckets as I read of the horrors that young Kaylee faced daily. My heart broke with Sierra as she dealt with the guilt that she felt from her own actions. As I said earlier, not casual reading, nor would I suggest it for anyone under the age of sixteen. This book will heal people who allow the words to penetrate their hurts, it will cause them to look within themselves to find the Truth (Jesus) and to be set free by the Truth! Even with the tough subject matter, this book is not a dark book, it is a book filled with hope and a wonderful story of redemptive grace and mercy. A hard story to read because of the subject matter! A story however, worthy of 5 stars. 339 pages $US 14.99 Discussion guide included. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Once in awhile, I find a book so outstanding that I urge everyone to run, not walk to the nearest bookstore and get a copy. Here is such a book. With believable characters, this is a story so compelling that I know it will remain a part of me. What a great idea for any book club to read and discuss. Discussion questions are included. Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and BH Books for my copy.
K.Harris More than 1 year ago
Ginny Yttrup has a way with "words," and her story is a compelling, haunting, and inspirational tale of unspeakable loss and the love that heals it. An incredible read from beginning to end.
liongh More than 1 year ago
This was a hard book to read. When child abuse occurs we don't like to be witness. Reality is we all must be held responsible for the children. This author brings this reality to us in a dramatic way.
Chasity Kinsey More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing story!!!! I loved seeing how God worked everything out for His glory.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
About the Book: Kaylee has been left with Jack, an abusive boyfriend of her mothers. She is only 10 years old and believes Jack when he tells her she can't leave as her mother will be back to get her sometime. She is repeatedly molested by him and has stopped speaking because of the trauma. Instead, she collects words in her head - words that she finds in a dictionary that she and her mother used to look at together. Jack leaves Kaylee alone for long portions of the day, and she is pretty good at remembering his work schedule - so even though she wanders in the nearby redwood forest she is always home before he is. She has found a safe haven in a burnt out redwood tree. In this tree, inside a circle of pinecones, no one can hurt her. It is here that she first sees Sierra. Sierra is an artist who has lived alone since the death of her baby daughter 12 years before. She had been a drug addict and her newborn baby, Annie, died because of it. She had been raised in a Christian home, but had wandered far off that path. She was still close to her parents, but refused to let go of the guilt and remorse of her daughter's death. It is on the anniversary of Annie's death that she thinks she sees the ghost of a little girl peering out of a redwood tree, when it is in fact Kaylee. Although she leaves that day without investigating further, with the encouragement of her best friend Ruby, she ventures back to the spot to see if it was really a little girl. She can't help but wonder what a little girl would be doing out in the woods by herself. Kaylee feels pulled back to the spot to see if Sierra will return as she had been crying and Kaylee is curious as to why. What neither one of them realize is that they are both being nudged by God towards each other. My thoughts: I really liked this book alot. Being a mom, I totally understood Sierra's need to find Kaylee and see why she was in the forest alone - and once she did, to follow up and try to learn more. You could feel Kaylee's struggle to speak, but also realize her reluctance is because she may have to answer some tough questions about things she doesn't want to talk about. It contains a great lesson in forgiveness and how God loves us, for us, regardless of what we might have done, and the importance of allowing God to do it His way, even when we don't think it is the right way.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This book kept me interested from start to finish.
RLubow More than 1 year ago
Words is riveting, truthful, and healing.  Words is beautifully written. Approximately every other chapter, the point of view shifts from first person Kaylee to first person Sierra. These shifts are consistently clear and fluid, yet the characters remain distinct. I was particularly stunned by Kaylee's chapters, in which I clearly heard the voice of a hurting twelve-year-old. The character development is masterful, the word choice and composition are nearly as solid. While quite a few cliches were present, Words mainly uses precise language and is absolutely elegantly crafted. An example of this elegance is the imagery, which connects clearly with the story without being overdrawn.  The story--with its depth, pain, and longing--is compelling. Most commendable about Words is the amount of truth these pages contain. Sierra's parents express wisdom memorably, and Sierra's realizations about truth and Christ--the Word--are beautiful. None of this truth feels forced.  Reading stories such as Words helps me understand others' suffering (in this story, the sufferings of abuse and grief). Reading Words also encouraged and strengthened me in my present struggle--anxiety. (I especially appreciated the portions concerning guilt.) Because of the constant, solid, effective truth it communicates and because it is expertly crafted, I highly recommend Words. I will likely read more books written by Ginny Yttrup and more books published by B&H Publishing Group.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read. I loved it.
libraryboy More than 1 year ago
Let me set the record straight.  I read. A lot!  Not only do I read a lot, I am a GUY that reads a lot.  It can be difficult, at times, for me to find something that I think that I would enjoy reading.  Since I  run the library for my church, I want to be well-versed in the books that I read so that I can make  educated recommendations to my patrons that “are just looking for that right book”.  Sometimes,  though, I can’t seem to find just that right book for me to read.   Now I must admit that this was my last choice of books to purchase, but I have read her newest book, “Invisible”, so it wasn’t a stretch for me to pick this one up. Young Kaylee has seen it all, experienced it all and continues to live it all.  Her mother abandoned her  with her alcoholic boyfriend and never looked back.  Kaylee, though, has endured things at the hand  of this “male person” ( I can’t call him a man because a man doesn’t do those things!) that no child  should ever endure.  Due to this abuse, Kaylee has shut down and lost her “voice”.  She does retreat  into a world of words that allows her to escape, even if it’s for a moment, from her horrid life.  Sierra  has spent the last 12 years mourning the loss of her child at the hands of a premature birth brought  on by years of drug use.  Though she’s clean now, that moment of holding her baby at the end of its  life etched in her a season of loss that she hasn’t recovered from.  As Sierra struggles again with the  anniversary of her daughter’s death, she is encouraged by those around her to move on and accep  forgiveness.  She finds herself in the woods, once again confronting the issue of forgiveness with  Him.  While she’s there, she thinks she sees a young girl.  Considering her current emotional state,  though, she shrugs it off.  Later, recounting the story with her friend, she recommends that she go back and see if the girl was real or imaginary.  Thus, begins a relationship between these two souls;  one looking for acceptance and one looking for forgiveness, but both looking for something that only  He can provide.  Jesus = Truth = Freedom.  What a powerful thought just in that one equation.  Jesus promises us that “we will know that truth, and the truth will set us free”.  That comes from John 8 and refers to Him.  Once we lean on Him and live a life of truth, He will set us free from all that binds us.  Will we have a perfect life?  Not at all, but we will have a life that we can be assured that will be surrounded by His glory.  The characters that Ms. Yttrup develops in this novel are amazing.  They are so real and life-like  and pull you into the story.  I love reading a book that takes the time to cause you to invest yourself  into the characters so that you root for them throughout the entire book. Is this a "guy's book"?  I have to say that this doesn’t rank up there in the guy’s book category.  What I will tell you though is this.  As I read this book on the airplane back from my business trip,  there were times that the high attitude sure took a toll on my sinuses ;)  Even though I did not rate this  book as a must read due to it not being a true guy’s book, I am extremely glad that I gave it a chance.  
sherryand More than 1 year ago
This book was choosen for our book club discussion and I would highly recommend it for anyone. Once I started reading the book, it was hard to put down until finished. Looking forward to reading other books by Ginny Yttrup.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wrestles with some serious topics like child abuse and drug abuse while weaving a gentle story of redwoods and redemption. Excellent for book clubs, and as a soothing balm on hurting hearts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written and interesting!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This had everything I love about a book...hurt, hope, healing and the love of words!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book in which I've highlighted many passages and that has invaded my dreams with its healing touch one of the few books that l will read again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words fail me in describing this precious story of an abused child and her savior, a former drug addict who lost her baby, and their Savior, Jesus Christ. Everyone should read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth your time a rare five!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is riveting and heartwrenching at all times. Impossible to put down and keeps sneaking into your thoughts when you arent reading it. Very uplifting at the end.
ReadingEveryDay More than 1 year ago
As an avid book reader, I have always escaped into the written word. In this novel a young girl loses her ability to speak but finds shelter from an abusive existence in the vocabulary of a worn dictionary. This book is about power - the power of words and the power of love.
sneps More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book last year and I finally decided to read it a couple of weeks ago. It’s a book that truly drew me in from the very first page. Sierra is a woman, who is a recovery drug addict, and has not yet forgiven herself for the consequences of her choices. While she struggles to find peace and truly give herself to God, she meets a little girl Kaylee. Kaylee is a special little girl and my heart ached for her as I read her story. Ginny Yttrup truly does a remarkable job in describing the emotions and thoughts of a little girl, who is absolutely broken. Kaylee is the little girl, who could easily have slipped through the system, since she is non-verbal and at times, seems unresponsive. However, God brings Kaylee and Sierra together through a series of events, and shows them His love and grace. Words is a book that will pull at your heart, have you cry for the pain and suffering Kaylee experiences, and rejoice when she not only finds her voice, but finds a family and self-acceptance. I absolutely loved this book and Ginny Ytrrup truly leaves no stone uncovered as she brings to light abuse, addiction, foster/adoption, and new beginnings. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a great Christian fiction book, works as a family therapist or social worker with abused and neglected children, and addictions. It’s a fantastic read and deserves to be on everyone’s TBR list!