Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review Friday, Part 2: Life, In Spite of Me

I picked up Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson because stories of people who have overcome serious depression resonate with me.  I have battled depression and anxiety at least since my teenage years and greatly appreciate stories of those who have survived and even triumphed through these illnesses.

Kristen Anderson suffered a series of deep emotional wounds and losses as a teenager.  She had several family and friend deaths occur, including the loss of a friend to suicide.  Shortly thereafter, she attended a party with a boy she liked and was raped.  No one knew that this had happened.  Her despair began to deepen and deepen, until one night she went for a walk and impulsively threw herself on the train tracks, intending to kill herself and end the pain.  Instead, the train ran her over and severed both of her legs.  She was profoundly wounded.  She shouldn’t have survived, but she did.  Thus began a long journey back through physical and emotional rehab, spiritual transformation, and deep inner healing. 

Kristen believes that God had a plan in all of the pain that she experienced.  According to her account, she was only a nominal Christian prior to the accident.  This crisis became a moment of reckoning, forcing her to re-evaluate everything and come to a personal relationship with Christ.  As a Lutheran Christian, I frequently found myself questioning the way the theology was articulated (did she really have no faith, or did her faith simply deepen with the accident?), but I had to remind myself that God clearly has done a work in this young woman’s life, a work that led to the healing of her broken soul, a deepened faith in Jesus, and a ministry of encouragement to others who are without hope.  I appreciated her vulnerability in sharing her story and the clear transformation God made in her life. 

For those without hope and those who are tempted to end it all, this book could be just the encouragement they need to keep going.

3 stars out of 5

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group .  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the honest review! :O)


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