The book I almost couldn’t finish

November 7, 2012 

From time to time, I am asked to promote a book or someone who will be speaking in the area about a book. An avid reader, I usually zip right through any book I am given and always finish it whether I like it or not -- I have a lifelong rule that if I start book, I always finish it. The last book I found difficult to read was probably back in high school when I had to read “Of Mice and Men.” It just didn’t appeal to me, but I did finish it.

But when a friend gave me the latest book I read, it took only two chapters before I sat it down and walked away. I eventually mustered the courage to finish reading and have had my eyes opened in the process.

Jenny Lynn Anderson’s book, “Room 939, 15 minutes of Horror, 20 years of Healing” is Anderson’s story about her sexual assault and the recovery process that she and her entire family went through.

In Atlanta for a business trip in 1990, Anderson was in a well-known hotel when she was accosted in the hallway and forced at knifepoint to open her own room -- Room 939 -- where she was raped. Her rapist was never caught.

Anderson’s story is not as much about the assault as it is about the road she has traveled to healing and her own courage as she was determined to fight back from the fears that being assaulted had put into her daily life.

I am going to be honest with you; the first two chapters are not an easy read. But then, the things that change lives are usually not easy. As I continued on reading the book, it became clear to me that the details in the first chapters, the facts of the rape in Room 939, are necessary to understand the depths of the despair Anderson suffered and how high she has risen above it.

But I highly recommend this book not only for those who have been through a similar situation to help in their healing but as an eye opener for any woman out there. As women, we need to learn from other women. Anderson is forthright in the mistakes that she made such as bathing while waiting on the police to arrive, scrubbing off any DNA evidence. Her honest account of her trauma and her reliance on her faith in God to help her fight back her assailant’s presence in her mind are a must read for anyone who has ever been sexually assaulted.

For an opportunity to hear Jenny Lynn Anderson talk about her assault and her recovery, Anderson will be in the area speaking at Cross Point Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14. Cross Point is located at 645 Perry Parkway in Perry. The event is open to the public.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or

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