Book Review | Life, In Spite of Me

Title: Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice

Author: Tricia Goyer

About the Book:

After her fatal choice… extraordinary hope.

Why does my life have to be so painful?
What’s wrong with me?
It’s not going to get better.
It could all be over soon, and then I won’t hurt anymore.

Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture perfect lifeuntil strokes of gray dimmed her outlook on life. Once a happy child, Kristen’s world darkened after three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a depression that didn’t seem to have a bottom.

One January night, the seventeen-year-old made a decision: She no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited-for a freight train to send her to heaven…and peace.

Fear coursed through me. I squeezed my eyes tighter.
It’s going to be over now. The pain is going to end. I’ll be in heaven soon.
As the train whistle blew, the vibration of my body stilled.
The sound stopped. The wind stopped. The train stopped.
Am I dead yet?

Amazingly, Kristen survived her suicide attempt… but the 33 freight cars that ran over her severed her legs. Now she not only had to deal with depression; she also had to face the physical pain and life without legs.

But Kristen’s story didn’t end there. After her darkest days Kristen discovered a real purpose for living. Now, in her compelling book Life, In Spite of Me, Kristen shares her journey from despair to hope.

Includes letters from Kristen that share messages she wishes someone would have told her-when she was depressed and struggling with loss, shame from sexual abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

My Review:

Life In Spite of Me is utterly amazing.  The story it conveys — effortlessly, honestly, poignantly — is an unbelievable one.  When I pulled this book off my shelf, I thought to myself, Wow, this is one exuberant woman.  Then I noticed that she had no legs and really thought, Wow.

Let me tell you — Kristen Jane Anderson’s story will move you.  There’s no doubt about that.  Her journey from desperation and hopelessness to peace and gratitude is inspirational and uplifting. This book will affect everyone differently, but it will have an impact.  Throughout the book, Anderson includes letters to her readers, about suicide, about being the victim of sexual abuse, about becoming a Christian.  They’re a sweet touch, and it makes it feel very personal.

Anderson’s positive attitude leaps off the pages, but it’s not preachy nor does it come across as though she is trying to persuade you or sell you something.  It is what it is, as they say and what it is is just pure, unadulterated joy.  This book had me enthralled from page 1; the first time I looked up, I was already a quarter of the way in.

Not only will you not be disappointed with this book, you will feel better after reading it — better about yourself, others, life in general.  Do yourself (or someone you care about) a favor and read this book.  Its message is far too valuable to be passed by.

*I was not financially compensated for this review. I received a free book for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own.*


Kristin is the mom of two boys and two girls and lives outside of Philadelphia, PA. She loves to read, write, shop, and spend as much of her summer as possible at the Jersey shore!

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