At 17 years old, Kristen Jane Anderson had recently lost loved ones, was upset with her parents and hated her life. As she sat by the train tracks, she decided her life wasn't worth living, so she laid down on the tracks as a train approached and waited to die. But God had other plans, and Kristen lived. She lost her legs and suffered through terrible pain, both physical and emotional, but through it all she came to realize she was blessed to be alive.
I picked up Life, In Spite of Me one evening, and ended up reading it straight through until I was at the last page. This is a very difficult and emotional story, but it is written in very simple narrative that allows for a quick reading. It only took me about two hours to read the entire story. I think the simplicity of the story as told by Anderson, together with Tricia Goyer, makes it very accessible to teens as well as adults. She includes several letters at the end of chapters, in which she talks directly to the reader who may be suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts. It is clear that this book was written as a way to not only tell her own story, but to reach out to others and help them find their way to God and realize suicide is never the answer.
Anderson has said, "I hope to save lives, because God first saved mine." She founded Reaching You Ministries, which has the following mission: To reach the hurting, the hopeless, the lost, the suicidal and the depressed with the life transforming hope and leadership offered to us in Christ.
My Rating: 4/5
Download chapter one
View the video
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.