When you look at the cover of Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson, the first thing you might think is 'Wow, this girl is so full of joy!' And she is.
What you might miss when seeing her bright smile is that she is sitting on the ground, and out of focus behind her is an empty wheelchair. Her wheelchair. Anderson's account of how she came to need this wheelchair -- she laid down on some train tracks at the age of 17 to end her life -- gives a clear picture of how the title was born.
I had seen Kristen Anderson on Oprah a while back and was intrigued by her story. I was excited to read the whole story, her thoughts as she went through such horrible tragedy -- at her own hands, no less. So I was quick to take the opportunity to review Anderson's book, which is a quick read.
How does one come back from depression and a suicide attempt that should have taken her life? And when she didn't die as she'd planned but instead ended up a paraplegic, how would that affect her depression further? I'm sure there is so much more Kristen Anderson could have included in her story, but what she did tell had me shaking my head, taking deep breaths, and just sitting in amazement as I would read some passages several times over.
Anderson testifies strongly that God played a large part in her life being spared. It was humbling to read how she went from a very angry young girl to a courageous and joyous young woman. I've been through my own tough times -- we all have -- and Life, In Spite of Me is a great lesson in taking what life has handed you and turning it all the way around.
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This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.