I received a review copy of Days Like These: a life cut short by cancer, a love that touched the world by Kristian and Rachel Anderson and spent a few hours yesterday morning curled up in bed reading it. I’d decided that I wanted to read lots in honour of World Book Day and this definitely the right book to choose for that!
When Kristian Anderson received the diagnosis that every devoted husband and father fears, he refused to resign himself silently to fate.
He began a brave and candid blog as he underwent treatment for cancer: sharing the joy of each small victory, the devastation in every setback, and the agonising realisation that he wouldn’t always be able to protect and comfort his little boys when they were lonely or afraid, or grow old with his wife and soulmate.
His posts full of hope, faith, and breathtaking honesty captured Australian hearts, then swept across the Pacific, gathering followers. A poignant video tribute for his wife Rachel became an internet phenomenon, attracting messages from well-wishers across the globe.
After his death, their love inspired Rachel to bring together Kristian’s blog entries combined with her own intimate reflections. Days Like These is a heartbreaking account of her husband’s final battle, his strength and courage, but it is also a story about coming back from grief, and learning how to live again.
I hadn’t heard of Kristian or his blog when I spotted that this book was available for review. Which is a shame because I think I would have enjoyed reading it. The book comprises of some of his entries from the blog and some thoughts from his wife Rachel. It’s really really good and I highly recommend it.
Kristian was religious and reading the book it’s obvious how much that came to mean to him. A lot of bible verses are spread through out the text but just really as he thinks of them and when they are relevant to what he’s doing/thinking/talking about at that point in the book. It wasn’t at all preachy. I’m not religious at all and I didn’t find them a problem although I do know one or two people who are very staunch atheists and totally anti-religion who would hate this book for that reason.
He was also really into musical and several songs are mentioned throughout, several with the lyrics. I really liked that because I’m also really into music and find a lot of meaning in song lyrics. I use them a lot (probably more than you would realise reading this blog).
I literally read this book cover to cover (I stopped once to look online for the video tribute Kristian made for Rachel when I hit that part of the book) and I’m really glad I did. It managed to take a painful and sad subject and express that but also the hope that shone through for them and the happiness they experienced at times throughout the experience. It was also a nice read.
Some people don’t think blogs should be turned into books. I’ve only had the quickest of looks at Kristian’s blog today and yes a lot of the book is on the blog. But it feels to me as though this book is so much more than “a blog published in book form.” And I highly recommend it.