Book Review :: Life in Spite of Me

Life in Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope after a Fatal Choice is the true testimony of Kristen Jane Anderson. Ghosted by Tricia Goyer, together they tell Kristen’s story – mainly that of her struggle with depression and a costly choice made in a dark hour.

Kristen isn’t unlike most teens. She’s up and down in school, drinks some with her friends, challenges her parents’ authority, has a few acquaintances that die from accidents and suicide, and loses a grandparent as well. What is different for Kristen is that she struggles with clinical depression – a trait that runs in her family.

Because of her depression, after an especially bitter episode with her parents, Kristen decides to take her own life. She thinks that laying down on train tracks will be quick and easy. However, Kristen doesn’t die. She just loses both of her legs.

Now Kristen is forced to confront her illness, and along the way begins a spiritual journey that is the source of her hope and her eventual healing of mind and soul.

What I love about this book is how detailed Kristen is about the feelings of her depression. I know someone who suffers from this illness and have heard them say that they didn’t know what was wrong with them until they heard someone else who had been diagnosed talk about their feelings. There are breaks in the narrative at the end of chapters where Kristen talks directly to her readers, probing for signs of recognition within, offering suggestions of where to look for help. I can imagine that this book will be incredibly meaningful for those who suffer from this illness and are looking for explanations or simply support. For some, it will provide life-changing answers.

Kristen’s journey is not easy, and she doesn’t sugar-coat her wrestling. Even after she recognizes God’s hand in saving her life, she struggles enormously. From coming to terms with the fact that she did attempt suicide to battling her reliance on antidepressants, the reader gets that losing her legs may have just been the easy part. Kristen even describes her fear of being cast into the limelight to share her story. In the end, she’s found her way, at a day-to-day pace, relying her on her relationship with God.

Life in Spite of Me is a book that is destined to be passed around from friend to friend, and it is well worth the recommended read.

I am grateful to Stephanie at Litfuse who provided me with a complimentary copy of Life in Spite of Me. This post is a part of a Litfuse blog tour of the book. You can access the blog tour for more information, including a chance to win a free copy yourself and links to other reviews.

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2 Replies to “Book Review :: Life in Spite of Me

  1. I'm definitely putting this one on my to-read list. This isn't the first I've heard of it, and it sounds very inspiring.

  2. Yes Misti! I think you'll like it. It's a pretty quick read, too. If we ever get our lunch scheduled, I'll pass along my copy to you!

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