Hey, y’all! Today on the blog I have a book review to share with you! A young writer friend of mine (Eliana the Writer) was helping her aunt with the release of her memoir, and I signed up to read an advanced copy as a PDF. It has since been released on Amazon and you can purchase it to read for yourself now, but I’d like to share my thoughts on it with you.
Life Beyond the Scars: Finding Hope in Tragedy by Charity Freeland is a memoir that tells the story of the tragic car accident she survived at age 17, and her journey of healing from the severe burns she endured because of it. Being 17 myself, I was immediately curious about the book and wanted to read her story to see what words of wisdom she had to share–and wow, was it worth the read! I’ll be honest and say it’s scary to think that I’m the age she was when her life changed forever. It’s scary to think that something like that could happen to me any day. But it’s also encouraging to think that God has a plan for my life the same way He did/does for her, and that while she’s now further along in her journey, she was able to find beauty and stay strong in her faith along the way.
Something I found interesting about this book is that the author uses a lot of bullet points to communicate her thoughts. I’ve never seen that done before but I think it gives a more personal feel to the message–almost like she’s in the same room with you sharing a PowerPoint presentation. It’s very effective and helps the reading go quickly, rather than having to read dense paragraphs. There’s also plenty of real-life photographs both of herself and of her family to illustrate and pull you into the story.
As for the content of the writing, it was really inspiring (and convicting, actually). I saw myself in a lot of what she was sharing and even though I’ve never had an experience nearly as traumatic, I could relate to the truths on a smaller scale. Topics such as negativity, self-centeredness, self-righteousness, believing lies, and striving hard to fit in with a crowd all hit home for me. I was able to take away truth and encouragement from it in the moment, and I’m sure when I face something heavier in the future, it’ll come to mind and remind me that God is still good. It’s amazing to think that even amidst tragedy and pain, we can still have faith.
I always try to mention whether or not the book I’m reviewing has discussion questions, and this one does! I didn’t realize that until I had read the whole thing because they’re placed at the end, but if you read it for yourself, take note that there are questions to go along with the chapters. It would be a good book to read with a friend and would provide an avenue for asking the deeper questions about life.
Whether you’ve already experienced deep hurt in life (like Charity) or have yet to grow in that way (like me), I think this book is worth the read. It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s full of truth gained from personal trials that is sure to encourage and inspire. Nobody wants to be in a car accident, to come that close to death, or to endure such excruciating pain. But as Charity demonstrates, there is a reason for it all and God will walk us through it.
Let me know in the comments if you decide to pick this book up for yourself! I’d love to hear from you.
(Also, side note, you may have noticed I haven’t been super active on CoCo’s Chitchat recently, and that’s because I started college this fall! I’m still sending out emails and posting on social media when I can, so make sure you subscribe and/or follow to receive the latest news and follow me on my college journey.)
That’s all for now!
In Christ now and always,