One Reason to Live

A Memoir About Surviving Trauma

Non-Fiction - Memoir
338 Pages
Reviewed on 04/24/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Christine Rose's One Reason to Live: A Memoir About Surviving Trauma is a powerful and inspiring story of resilience and healing. Rose's life is shattered by a traumatic brain injury that changes her husband's personality, leaving her alone to pick up the pieces. Already dealing with C-PTSD from sexual assaults and suicidal ideation, she desperately searches for a reason to keep living. Through deep introspection and a tumultuous experience with medication, she discovers her one reason to live: Living in Europe. This spark of hope leads her on a journey of self-discovery, as she navigates new cultures and the companionship of animals. Despite her struggles with depression and feeling like a failure as an author and filmmaker, Rose finds the strength to reinvent herself and emerge from her trauma with a newfound sense of purpose. Follow her emotional journey as she shares the triumphs and challenges of her path toward healing.

“In short, no one wants to step into the hell that I’ve survived, and I don’t blame them. I would step out of it, too, if I could.” The courage it takes a woman to release her anguish into the universe and share it with strangers is great. The courage it takes a woman to release continued, repetitive and crushing anguish that manifests itself over and over and over again is incalculable. And this is where One Reason to Live by Christine Rose is different. It is a profoundly honest assessment of the defeat Rose felt and how a single happy dream, a memory, or a wish, can change the trajectory of a woman's life. Rose's talent as a writer is evident as the prose is engaging and well-crafted. Writing is her job and in less skilled hands I think her memoir could have been lost in a slush pile, and what a shame that would have been for those of us fortunate enough to have come across it. As an American woman who also moved to Europe under different circumstances, I was able to relate to Rose. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew her intimately, and it is quite an honor to have the soul of resilience present itself in such an inspiring way. Very highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

One Reason to Live: A Memoir About Surviving Trauma by Christine Rose is a gripping memoir of a survivor of trauma who shares her journey of overcoming immense pain and finding hope and purpose in life. The story chronicles her struggles with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts after experiencing abuse as a child and enduring a series of traumatic events in her adulthood. Much like survivors of abuse, survivors of trauma have a hard time getting back into the groove of living life because, sadly, mental scars are much harder to fight. Through her vivid and honest storytelling, Rose describes the long and arduous process of healing and finding her way back to a fulfilling life. She takes us on a journey through her therapy sessions, her struggle with trauma recovery, and her eventual realization that she needs to make a change to overcome her past.

What makes this memoir particularly compelling is Christine Rose's ability to convey the raw emotions that come with trauma and the healing process. She does not sugarcoat the difficulties of recovery but instead offers a powerful message of hope and perseverance for anyone who has experienced trauma. The narrative becomes a little too raw at times, the emotions run high, and we are caught up in it. I barely controlled my emotions at times as Christine’s journey became quite painful. The narrative style is simple yet so powerful that it makes sure we feel connected and part of the story, rather than as casual bystanders. One Reason to Live is a prime example of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love and support to overcome even the most devastating of circumstances. It is a must-read for anyone who needs inspiration and encouragement in their journey toward healing and self-discovery.

Foluso Falaye

After decades of ​suffering from wrongly diagnosed complex PTSD and accumulating traumas, Christine Rose finally gets the proper medication and a good job. Things are looking up for her until she discovers her marriage is undermined by lies and poor communication, which sends her spiraling down a path of disappointment and regression. Fortunately, she answers a desperate call to cling to life by following her dream to travel to Europe and work remotely. In Europe, she experiences the beauty of unique and distinctive art and culture and meets several adorable pets while pet-sitting for various clients. However, she also has to defend herself against predators as she fights the sinking feeling of loneliness and tries to make friends in her travels. Follow Christine Rose as she embarks on a daring, spontaneous adventure in Europe and fights challenging internal battles in One Reason to Live.

Unlike popular social media posts that mostly bring appealing stories to light and leave the ugly truths in the shadows, One Reason to Live reveals the daunting pressures that shaped the protagonist into the diamond she is today. Through her sincere, poignant, and courageous storytelling, we see her imperfections and deep emotional struggles. Christine Rose appears creative, resilient, and polite despite her troubling past and encounters with sexual predators. Art lovers will enjoy experiencing Michelangelo’s David, the Raphael Rooms, and other European arts through the book's exciting and vivid descriptions. One Reason to Live is a fantastic read. It educates, entertains, motivates, and tugs at your heartstrings. It fills you with life in all its true colors. I loved it and learned that our world still has a long way to go in eradicating misogyny.