Janet Oberholtzer and I connected via Twitter almost a year ago; we have exchanged a few comments here and there, as well as commented on each other’s blogs. I have never interacted with her outside the Twitterverse, but from her blog and our exchanges I know that it would be wonderful to share a cup of coffee with this woman. So, when she asked if I’d be willing to read and review her memoir Because I Can, I didn’t even hesitate to agree.
To be completely honest, I don’t usually read non-fiction, especially personal stories like memoirs. Mostly this is because they are first and foremost personal. I always feel like if someone is going to share who they are with me it’s best to do that in person, preferably over the afore mentioned cup of coffee. I’m oddly old fashioned in a way that makes no sense for how I was raised, but because of conversations we had had, I knew this was a story I wanted to know more about.
One of the things I liked best about Janet’s story, well, her life, really, is how she tells it. Her language isn’t overly flowery, though there is a hint of poetry. It’s honest, at times raw. Yet, though she takes you through the moments of fear, anxiety, paranoid morphine induced hallucinations, anger and depression following a traumatic accident she doesn’t give in to melodramatics. She goes forward, sharing each experience honestly.
Janet’s story Because I Can is an amazing journey through near tragedy and the tough, uncertain road of healing. She doesn’t emerge unscathed or falsely upbeat. She comes through as a real woman who learns the true extent of her strength, and the love of the people around her. She has a determination to keep moving forward that seems to leave little doubt that she will indeed keep moving forward even when faced with challenges no one could have foreseen. She has a positivity about her, but it is more akin to practicality and tenacity than optimism. That is the true appeal of her story.
Her book is available in print and Kindle.