• Ms. Coffey

"Everything Happens for a Reason" by Kate Bowler


"I am starring in my own reality show about a young woman who gets cancer and is extremely cheerful about it. Except that no one is watching." - Kate Bowler, Everything Happens For A Reason, page 143.

This non-fiction memoir does not shy away from the realities of cancer. There is raw emotion seeping through every page. Bowler retells her Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis and how it affected herself and her family. As a prosperity gospel professor at Duke, Bowler intertwines religion, her life, and how one affects the other. She gets rid of the thought that everything happens for a reason, but when everyone keeps telling her that one thing, what is she to do?


I thought this book was going to be about a young woman's faith in God being rattled by a devastating cancer diagnosis. I was right in a way, but not in the way that I was thinking. Bowler used to believe that everything happened for a reason, now she knows that sh*t is going to happen in life and you got to deal with it. You take every day one at a time and appreciate the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months you have with your family and friends.


Everything Happens For A Reason reminded me of a college class I took. It was a sociology lecture called Death, Grief, and Bereavement. We learned that everyone deals with death differently, especially people with cancer. I made several connections between that class and Bowler's book. For someone that has not taken a course on death and dying, Everything Happens For A Reason will provide you with a different perspective on the subjects.


My favorite part of the book was towards the end. Bowler is faced with harsh medical treatments that are taking a toll on her body and family life. She remains as positive as she can, but she admits that it is okay not to be okay. In this section of the book, Bowler becomes beautifully poetic and honest. I loved how she exquisitely described what she was going through. She did not try to come up with examples to relate to the viewer, quite the opposite happened. I felt like she was trying to isolate herself in the best way. She was telling her story and nobody else's.


My least favorite part of the book was in the middle. I found myself losing a bit of interest because it was only the author's thoughts. There wasn't a mix of ideas and events to engage the reader.


I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars for its excellent insight into a world that I have never experienced. I enjoyed reading an honest, sincere, and raw window into the author's life. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a different perspective on life, death, or both.

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