Another blogger in the Blogging for Books program who reviewed the same book I did, with my permission posted some of the questions from me and and the commenters from my post. I always try to oblige. Anyway, if you want to see how some Christians answered our queries and opinions, please see
Life in Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice (2010) by Kristen Jane Anderson, with Tricia Goyer, is a fascinating and hard to put down read. Kristen was an ordinary, happy girl until she hit her teenage years. A combination of tragedies, such as a friend’s suicide, acquaintance rape, and a family history of major depression, drives Kristen to try to take her own life. Hopelessness, however, slowly turns to hope due to her miraculous survival. Somehow the young woman is run over by a train and lives to tell the tale, her legs severed but otherwise her body intact. At first Kristen still wants to die, but people keep telling her that God spared her life for a reason. Kristen turns from a lukewarm believer in God to a Christian, and dedicates her life to helping other people through God.
The young woman’s story could possibly save lives and shows that everyone is put on Earth for a reason. The book isn’t overly preachy, and Kristen doesn’t consign all suicide victims to hellfire, which is commendable in itself. One might take umbrage, as the author of this review does, with a section in the book where her new preacher tells Kristen that she would not have gone to hell for killing herself, BUT she would have gone to hell for not being a Christian. We’re talking about a 17 year-old girl here, not quite an adult, and Jesus would have sent her to eternal damnation? One also might find that replacing her un-Christian friends completely, as she appears to have done, sort of wrong considering some some of her friends were loyal after her attempt on her life. This isn’t to say she should have continued with their ways, mind. Perhaps she didn’t abandon her friends, but it just wasn’t covered in the memoir? The criticisms though are only a minor sideline in the book in an otherwise excellent story of redemption.
Kristen’s story is told in simple, flowing prose appropriate for both teens and adults. The author doesn’t gloss over the events leading up to the suicide attempt, but she isn’t horrifyingly graphic about what she endured to the point of wanting to slam the book shut. One, however, feels her pain as she relates her feelings before and after her suicide attempt.
This book deserves four out of five stars and is ideal for those touched by depression or suicide, or those looking for a reason to live.
Disclaimer: The author of this review received this book in exchange for a review with no other compensation. Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s “Blogging for Books” program is at http://bloggingforbooks.org Got a blog? Get in the program. Free books!
Fun added bonus part exclusive to my blog: To my regulars and whoever: Would y’all read this? If you would or wouldn’t, is it in part due to my review? Do y’all like my style of reviewing this, and if not, what’s wrong with you? Lastly, would you think it fair for a 17 year-old to be thrown into hell just because she failed to be a member of the exclusive Club Christian? Does calling Christianity a club make me a bad Christian? Discuss!
Combining http://magpietales.blogspot.com and http://thursdaypoetsrallypoetry.wordpress.com/ this week. The first poem is right depressing, so if you’re already in a depressed mode you might wish to skip it because it’s pretty dark. The second poem deals with the so-called “War on Christmas,” and I don’t mean to be sacrilegious. The third is my favorite poem, a slice of that tasty ghetto/trailer park-style pie some of y’all seem to like…Anywho, enjoy and comment, trash it, or ask questions about it as you may.
A Very Depressing Christmas Poem: Nola Leigh’s Christmas
Nola Leigh, age 43, virtuous virginity.
It is Christmas Eve and she is alone,
She can’t bear to go home.
All of her relatives are dead,
So she goes to the church instead.
Open door but no one here,
She looks to the window and sits at the rear,
Thin stain glass, the virgin and her baby as before in the past.
Mary is benevolent, Jesus is sad in his innocence, looking even then for divine penitence.
Nola Leigh, 43, virtuous virginity.
Mother Mary, where were you 40 years ago,
When Nola Leigh needed you so?
Sweet Jesus, did you not see your young servant in desperate need?
While you were in the glass, Nola Leigh just had no chance.
But that’s all in the past.
Nola Leigh, 43, virtuous virginity.
A Very Controversial Christmas Poem: Merry Holidays, Jesus!
I think you should know, some of your Father’s creations are a little slow.
Or is it me who’s a bit dense? I’m not sure, but all this to me makes little sense.
It all has to do with a little word called ‘Christmas.’
Apparently there is a war on the word. Have you in heaven heard?
Being a mortal, this I can’t understand,
Did you actually make the demand
to nick-pick on a word not even invented when you walked this earth?
When you were old enough to say it, did you cry out “Merry Christmas!”in Aramaic?
Do you spend time between listening to prayers despairing, perhaps even swearing, that ‘Xmas’ does not bear your last name?
Or are you in on the joke that the Greeks often use the ‘X’ as the abbreviation of Christ?
Is it really a vice to say “Happy Holidays!” a couple of times a year?
Or do you say, “Your inclusiveness should fry with you in the lake of hell?”
Is it bad for me to say “Merry Christmas” too?
Truthfully, Jesus, I’m all in a stew,
so I guess I’ll leave it up to you.
A Semi-Festive Christmas Poem: Our Christmas Tree
Oh Christmas tree, lovely Christmas tree!
Chopped down in a forest of plastic at a Chinese factory.
That year, 1987, was the first year your blessed bough hung before us,
Joy to the World and the rest of the chorus.
That first year, do you recall?
We broke your stand and had to nail you to the wall,
tied with festive utilitarian string,
A live tree stand for a metal trunk is an interesting thing.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas and colored lights
Trying to put you up is liable to yoke a fight.
Complicated, lopsided, daring you to fall,
Well, we said, at least you’re tall.
Jingle Bells, dust, and left over tree icing,
Damn I wish it were spring and gifts weren’t so high in the pricing.
But I love your ornaments, indeed I do,
Even if you look like you were decorated by monkeys in the zoo.
Martha Stewart would cry if she saw this tree where ‘Taste’ goes to die,
But two ornaments per limb here means pleasures double,
Memories good and bad, triumph over trouble.
Gold garland and silver star, thoughts happy do not tacky mar.