Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review: Because I Can by Janet Oberholtzer

I'm not always the most thorough person when I visit someone else's blog for the first time. This was the case with Janet Oberholtzer. For whatever reason the first few times I went to her site, I read what had been linked, maybe commented and then clicked away. I didn't visit her "about" page for the first several times I went to her site. I just liked her writing and thought it was cool that she ran.

So it took me a few trips to Janet's site to realize that Janet even having a site is kind of miraculous. And the more I read of her story at her site, the more excited I was to read the book that she was working on. So I was thrilled for her when she won the Rhizome Publishing contest allowing her book to be published and available to all of us!

Janet was in an accident that nearly took her life and her left leg. Her book chronicles the events following the accident. It includes her physical recovery, but of far greater interest to me was reading of her mental and emotional recovery. Janet talks about her struggle with depression in this book. Struggles in her marriage. Struggles with her body image. Struggles with her faith.

I loved this book because Janet has what could be a really glurgy story, but manages to avoid the pat, easy answers. In fact, those answers kind of piss her off (can I say that about an ex-Mennonite?). Janet is honest and straight-forward in her writing about her emotions surrounding her life following the accident. She doesn't dress it up and she doesn't back away from the difficulties. She is honest about how it felt to be "Miracle Woman" and still be depressed. To be told that "all things work for good" and to be unable to see that good anywhere.

And she also shows us the importance of continuing even in our desperation. To be willing to ask for help when we need it. To be willing to face questions about God, even when they frighten us. To be willing to work hard for the things that we want, even through pain and embarrassment.

In the beginning of the book, Janet talks about how she couldn't bear to look at her damaged leg. You'll notice the cover of the book is a picture of her legs. This is the story that Janet tells. That shame has no place in her life. No place in anyone's life. Janet's story is amazing, but not just for the obvious reasons. It's amazing because she shows us that no matter what our struggles are, we can push through. She did, and we can.

You can order Janet's book at her website, or for your Nook, or your Kindle. If you want to connect with Janet, you can read her blog, or connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Janet's book from the publisher for the purpose of review. However my opinions are 100% my own (and I paid for a paper copy because I hate trees and love my friends).

Disclosure 2: I don't really hate trees.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Design by Eight Days Designs