Crossings
Every juncture in Jon Kerstetter’s life has been marked by a crossing from one world into another: from civilian to doctor to soldier; between healing and waging war; and between compassion and hatred of the enemy. When an injury led to a stroke that ended his careers as a doctor and a soldier, he faced the most difficult crossing of all, a recovery that proved as shattering as war itself.Crossings is a memoir of an improbable, powerfully drawn life, one that began in poverty on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin but grew by force of will to encompass a remarkable medical practice. Trained as an emergency physician, Kerstetter’s thirst for intensity led him to volunteer in war-torn Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia, and to join the Army National Guard. His three tours in the Iraq War marked the height of the American struggle there. The story of his work in theater, which involved everything from saving soldiers’ lives to organizing the joint U.S.–Iraqi forensics team tasked with identifying the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons, is a bracing, unprecedented evocation of a doctor’s life at war.But war was only the start of Kerstetter’s struggle. The stroke he suffered upon returning from Iraq led to serious cognitive and physical disabilities. His years-long recovery, impeded by near-unbearable pain and complicated by PTSD, meant overcoming the perceived limits of his body and mind and re‑‑ imagining his own capacity for renewal and change. It led him not only to writing as a vocation but to a deeper understanding of how healing means accepting a new identity, and how that acceptance must be fought for with as much tenacity as any battlefield victory.

Crossings Details

TitleCrossings
Author
ReleaseSep 5th, 2017
PublisherCrown
ISBN-139781101904374
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, War, Military, Biography, Nonfiction

Crossings Review

  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    This was a 4 out of 5 stars read for me.A soldier. A doctor. How do you reconcile the two? Especially in a war-torn country when doctors are to "do no harm," but a soldier must "shoot to kill." This was an interesting read from a man that had to experience both. How do you ever live with yourself once you have had to live on both sides of the battle lines? What do you do once you have suffered a catastrophic medical condition and can no longer do either? How do you define yourself then? Where do This was a 4 out of 5 stars read for me.A soldier. A doctor. How do you reconcile the two? Especially in a war-torn country when doctors are to "do no harm," but a soldier must "shoot to kill." This was an interesting read from a man that had to experience both. How do you ever live with yourself once you have had to live on both sides of the battle lines? What do you do once you have suffered a catastrophic medical condition and can no longer do either? How do you define yourself then? Where do you put your memories, your anger, your frustration and even your grief and loss when you CAN'T leave it on a battlefield? When your LIFE becomes the battlefield? Join Jon Kerstetter on his journey to hell and back in his emotional novel Crossings and bear witness to his struggles once released on September 5, 2017.I received an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I would like to thank Netgalley, Crown Publishing Group, and Jon Kerstetter for the opportunity to visit both sides of this difficult encounter.
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  • Marika
    January 1, 1970
    There are many stories written about war but this book is unique in that it's written by a Dr. whose mission was to heal, and to kill. Kerstetter, a native American who is a member of Oneida Tribe, holds nothing back recounting his 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of a Dr. is to save lives, but at what point is life salvageable? Deciding when a body is compatible with life was something that he dealt with on a daily basis and one that almost guaranteed that he would suffer from PTSD. He There are many stories written about war but this book is unique in that it's written by a Dr. whose mission was to heal, and to kill. Kerstetter, a native American who is a member of Oneida Tribe, holds nothing back recounting his 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of a Dr. is to save lives, but at what point is life salvageable? Deciding when a body is compatible with life was something that he dealt with on a daily basis and one that almost guaranteed that he would suffer from PTSD. He endured all the horrors of war, only to be diagnosed with an aneurysm and had a debilitating stroke that prevented him from practicing medicine. This is the rare mixture of medicine and philosophy, combined with being a gripping war memoir that doesn't blink from the horrific scenes. Scenes that you can not turn away from, as much as you want to.I received an advance copy and was not compensated.
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I just finished reading this book, and I am completely floored. Kerstetter 's telling of his journey is unlike anything that I have ever read before and the results are a truly remarkable book. I have read a lot of books that are memoirs centering around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and this one brings a unique perspective to the journey, delivered through top-notch writing. The author's pow I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I just finished reading this book, and I am completely floored. Kerstetter 's telling of his journey is unlike anything that I have ever read before and the results are a truly remarkable book. I have read a lot of books that are memoirs centering around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and this one brings a unique perspective to the journey, delivered through top-notch writing. The author's power as a gifted storyteller brings you in for a front row seat as he relives the most difficult parts of his life. The book starts out with the author's early life, progressing up to the point where he becomes a doctor. Once a doctor, he finds himself bored with routine treatment and seeking experience with treating critical trauma patients, which ultimately leads him into military service. The book delves into areas I never thought about a soldier/doctor performing. Most notably, he is entrusted with overseeing the process of positively identifying high priority enemy targets (Uday and Qusay Hussein) post mortem, and the transfer of their remains back to the Hussein family. I am not sure if it is the author's training as a doctor, his struggles with recovering from his stroke, or a little bit of both that give him the insight and perspective to explore his journey in the way he does, but I was drawn into the story and the writing from the beginning. He doesn't tell us about his PTSD, but rather he shows how it affects him and his recovery, as well as how hard he struggles to push the memories down and keep them inside. He is also able to (somehow) make the reader understand the pull back to war and how it can be stronger than the thoughts of the family and his civilian life waiting for him at home. Perhaps the most remarkable is how he depicts his recovery as a stroke victim - I felt the frustration of knowing what he used to be capable of, and the feeling of failure when his body and mind won't cooperate in the ways that he remembers. As I was reading this portion, I couldn't help but marvel that the man going through this recovery actually wrote the amazing book that I was reading. Sometimes a book comes along that makes me wish I could give it more than 5 stars, because it truly seems deserving of more - on a scale of 1 to 5 this is a 7!
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  • Julie Barrett
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book by entering a Goodreads giveaway. I entered the giveaway because the book blurb seemed intriguing- the goals of a doctor and of a soldier are diametrically opposed. One takes lives and the other tries to save lives. A memoir discussing the conflicts between the two seemed worth checking out.I struggled to finish this book. Usually a book this length is something I read in 2 days, not 2 weeks. I found myself doing anything other than picking up this book - checking email, pla I received this book by entering a Goodreads giveaway. I entered the giveaway because the book blurb seemed intriguing- the goals of a doctor and of a soldier are diametrically opposed. One takes lives and the other tries to save lives. A memoir discussing the conflicts between the two seemed worth checking out.I struggled to finish this book. Usually a book this length is something I read in 2 days, not 2 weeks. I found myself doing anything other than picking up this book - checking email, playing solitaire, even doing the dishes. They were all more appealing than reading this book. It was only my compulsion to finish every book I start that caused me to plow through and finish.Once I got to the part of the book where the author suffers a major stroke, I felt like a jerk for critiquing the book and finding it poorly written and organized. If I had known that fact from the beginning I would have cut him more slack. I mean, as a book written by someone who suffered a stroke less than 10 years ago and lost the ability to read and write, this memoir deserves a 4 or 5 star rating. It's impressive he could recover enough to write this. However, if I am not grading on a curve then the memoir earns 1 or 2 stars. I give it 2 stars for having an fascinating premise. It's the execution of the premise that is no good. Just because someone has lived a compelling life doesn't automatically make them a good writer.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to read Dr. Kerstetter’s memoir given my own connections to the military (my father was in the navy) and the medical field (my mother’s entire career has been in medicine). I thought my deepest connections to this book would be via these avenues through my own parents, but I was so incredibly wrong. This book could have been a message on resilience, but even more than that I connected to Dr. Kerstetter’s hunger for MORE. He constantly pushed himself, for fear of complacency or to f I was excited to read Dr. Kerstetter’s memoir given my own connections to the military (my father was in the navy) and the medical field (my mother’s entire career has been in medicine). I thought my deepest connections to this book would be via these avenues through my own parents, but I was so incredibly wrong. This book could have been a message on resilience, but even more than that I connected to Dr. Kerstetter’s hunger for MORE. He constantly pushed himself, for fear of complacency or to feed his inner drive, regardless of the motives, I connected to him deeply throughout this book. The latter portion of this book is dedicated to Jon’s recovery and realization that, as a result of his stroke, he would no longer be able to practice medicine or serve in the military. To be ripped of such a huge part of one’s identity is unfathomable, but Dr. Kerstetter allows the reader to see the truth in his struggle. A very impressive 4 star read! For the full review, please visit: https://fortheloveofthepageblog.wordp...
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  • Dustin
    January 1, 1970
    Read via ARC. I was thoroughly riveted through first 75% of this book. Truly a remarkable story and one that needs to be told. I will be recommending it to other whom I know have an interest in this vein of literature. I cannot hold it against the author regarding my perception of tone; however, the latter portion was not as appealing. These experiences lacked the depth that was initially so enticing. I would imagine that some editing could make more cohesive portions which I perceived as disjoi Read via ARC. I was thoroughly riveted through first 75% of this book. Truly a remarkable story and one that needs to be told. I will be recommending it to other whom I know have an interest in this vein of literature. I cannot hold it against the author regarding my perception of tone; however, the latter portion was not as appealing. These experiences lacked the depth that was initially so enticing. I would imagine that some editing could make more cohesive portions which I perceived as disjointed.
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  • Sandy Harris
    January 1, 1970
    CROSSINGS is a memoir by a medical doctor/soldier who battles more than PTSD when he get back to the States. Particularly interesting and insightful were the author’s three tours of duty in Iraq. He described the war with such clarity that you felt as though you were serving alongside him. But most moving were the author’s struggles to redefine his life after a stroke… relinquishing his doctor/soldier identities and taking on a new role – that of a writer… and a good one at that. My thanks to Pe CROSSINGS is a memoir by a medical doctor/soldier who battles more than PTSD when he get back to the States. Particularly interesting and insightful were the author’s three tours of duty in Iraq. He described the war with such clarity that you felt as though you were serving alongside him. But most moving were the author’s struggles to redefine his life after a stroke… relinquishing his doctor/soldier identities and taking on a new role – that of a writer… and a good one at that. My thanks to Penguin First to Read for the Advance Reader Copy.
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  • Rhonda Lomazow
    January 1, 1970
    An unforgettable memoir from childhood to his tours of duty Dr,Jon Kerstetter led an amazing life.Hevshares with up hisvOneida birthplace his tours of duty &the hardest life challenge.Jon suffers strokes returns home to face life with na new set of challenges,A very brace man a compelling life story,Thanks goodreads,
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    A book I couldn't put down. Thought-provoking, frustrating, and just a very fine read.
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