Saturday, April 6, 2013

Life In Spite of Me, by Kristen Anderson

A few days before I started the book, Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice, I watched a cheesy low budget movie in which a character is hit by a train, amputating both of his legs, and survives.  I remember rolling my eyes at my husband, and saying something to the effect of, "Oh that's realistic.  Like you could live through getting run over by a train."

And then I picked up Life, In Spite of Me:  the raw, unflinching, and painfully honest story of hope and recovery lived by Kristen Jane Anderson after she chose to lay down on a railroad track, ready to end it all.

The book was incredibly difficult to read, especially as someone who has dealt with depression myself, but that relatability was also what made it so great.  Ms Anderson takes the reader fully inside her journey, and doesn't gloss over the agonizing, heart-wrenching moments of despair.  We feel it with her as we read, which makes the ultimate story of survival and renewed faith all the more inspiring.   What could have easily been a depressing and dreary book is instead one that's incredibly uplifting and joy-filled.  She skillfully weaves her back story with her physical recovery and her path to finding strength, encouragement and new hope through Jesus.  I could not put the book down, and even after I finished it I wanted more, more, more.

This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand what it means to have true faith in God and a desire to share it with others, and especially for those who know what it's like to be in the grips of anxiety and depression.  A truly beautiful and hopeful story.

On a personal note, I tweeted the author when I was finished (@KristenJaneLife), to let her know how much I liked it.  She responded to me personally within the hour.  Simply a lovely soul, inside and out.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Books, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.