Ring the Bell

Non-Fiction - Memoir
388 Pages
Reviewed on 09/13/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

EC Stilson has authored over ten novels, novellas, and children’s picture books. Two of her memoirs, THE GOLDEN SKY and HOMELESS IN HAWAII, have become No. 1 bestsellers on Amazon for women’s memoir.

Since 2011, through fundraisers, book donations, and national radio interviews, EC Stilson has helped raise thousands of dollars for organizations such as Angel Watch, Portneuf Medical Center, the Pregnancy Resource Center, the American Diabetes Association, and Primary Children's Hospital.

When she's not working as a copy editor, she's parenting, fiddling, writing, or speaking at events for infant-loss support groups or cancer awareness organizations.

Her most recent memoir, RING THE BELL, came out in 2023 and details the author's battle with stage four melanoma.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joanne Ang for Readers' Favorite

Ring the Bell by EC Stilson is a memoir of the author’s cancer journey. People often take the luxury of living for granted, being too caught up with things in life that don’t end up mattering that much in the bigger picture. But that’s life; as humans, it’s in our nature to take things for granted… until something happens that changes our world in a split second. For Elisa, that split second came when her oncologist announced that her cancer had returned. Not knowing how much more time she has left, she has to find a way to live her life the way she wants to live it. In this memoir, Elisa will share how death opened her eyes and heart, helping her find the true purpose to life, however long that may be.

Ring the Bell is an empowering memoir about the author’s courageous journey living with cancer. Right from the very beginning, this powerful memoir teaches readers to embrace their reality, even if it’s not what they expected in the first place. The courage and hope in this book are so contagious that it pours right off the pages. I also appreciate how this memoir focuses on realistic goals, like a bucket list filled with the simplest pleasures that make us happy, and to process and overcome our fears. This book is a great example to readers of how to cope when everything is spiraling out of control. Essentially, Ring the Bell by EC Stilson is about appreciating every moment that God has given us, as every millisecond is just as precious as the next days, months, or years.

Christine Nguyen

Ring the Bell by EC Stilson is a memoir that chronicles Elisa’s excruciating battle with terminal stage four cancer. Her initial prognosis from doctors in 2020 predicted that she would only live for another two years. She exceeded their time frame and continued to fight for her life. Her biggest wish was to beat cancer, but every single day remained a struggle against extreme pain. Elisa hung on that so she could have more time to be with her husband and four children. Doctors continued finding more tumors in her frail body and she did not know how long she could handle the chemotherapy. Through all the pain, she battled each day to focus on positivity and love, sharing that this can be more of a challenge than fighting cancer itself.

EC Stilson is an extraordinarily gifted writer who pulls readers into her world immediately. The depth of Elisa’s vulnerability struck a chord within my soul. She impacted me profoundly as she shared many fundamental life lessons like love, appreciation, gratitude, and perseverance. Her unique perspective made each life lesson more poignant and tangible. Elisa reminded us to live and love fully every single day of our lives. I cried many tears of sadness and happiness as I rooted for Elisa through every success and setback. Ring the Bell is a must-read for everyone who needs a reminder that life is a precious gift. The author succeeds in spreading love, light, and positivity with her beautiful writing.

Rabia Tanveer

Ring the Bell by EC Stilson follows the story of a mother as she battled terminal cancer and decided to live beyond it. Elisa was fighting terminal cancer, and her chances of surviving it were slim. Necrosis from radiation was slowly draining the life out of her. Even with four children and a loving husband to support her, Elisa had difficulties finding her courage again. After the shock of the diagnosis wore off, she realized she had everything to fight for and nothing to lose. With her husband Mike beside her, Elisa decided to fight once and live once again. She takes readers on a journey of survival, desperation, and the sheer will to live.

Ring The Bell is the perfect example of the power of human will. Somehow, this memoir felt more like a coming-of-age story rather than a story of a woman fighting cancer. Elisa was fighting her disease for her family and her husband. However, she soon realized that she had to fight for herself first before she could even think about doing everything else. I loved how EC Stilson accepted her diagnosis and chose to look beyond it. After the initial shock, she was actively looking forward to living her life to its full potential and not thinking about her disease at all. The narrative style was soothing as well as confiding; it made me feel like I was talking to an old friend. The flow was incredible; nothing was rushed, and every single thing fell into place at once. I felt like a part of the story and not just a bystander. Her words were encouraging and uplifting at the same time, which is all someone needs when they are going through a hard time. I would highly recommend this memoir.