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Read the Dove review for Rock Bottom and Back



“Rock Bottom and Back: From Desperation to Inspiration” depicts the incredible lives of 22 people who hit rock bottom and them came back from profound despair to help others in extraordinary ways. Written by “New York Times” bestselling author Susan Mustafa with Earl B. Heard, “Rock Bottom and Back” exemplifies the trails that many of us experience on our journey through life.

Featuring celebrities as well as ordinary people, “Rock Bottom and Back” reveals the tragedy of reaching bottom through loss, trauma, alcoholism, and drug, sex and gambling addictions. This compilation provides inspiration and hope by illustrating that recovery and success are possible through living in service of others.

Dove Review

“Rock Bottom and Back: From Desperation to Inspiration” is an amazing, truthful book that depicts the life of 22 people who hit rock bottom and bounced back. They were able to help other people due to their life experiences. They are people who have compassion for others in similar circumstances.

One example is Bobby Smith, a police officer who was shot and left to die, but survived. However, the shooting left him blind. He fought back to do some amazing things, and even continued to work as an officer. Yet his darkest hours were ahead when he lost both a son and a daughter. His continued compassion for others and his faith in God are admirable. His story is an incredible one of very low valleys and high mountain tops. He knows what the word trauma means, yet he has retained hope, and he has shared his story with fellow officers and many people, in order to help them get through their traumatic times.Another story focuses on boxer Maurice Termite Watkins, who not only boxed but wound up on the cover of “Sports Illustrated.” He also ended up coaching for the Olympics, for Iraq. Despite a break-up, he ended up meeting a woman, who he would later marry, who helped encourage him.

These are just two of the 22 stories that share how real and ordinary people have hit rock bottom but moved forward to find a better life. Although the book deals with various thematic issues, such as drugs, prostitution, and sex, nothing is described in a gratuitous or graphic manner. Therefore, we are awarding this book our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages 12 and older. This book makes it clear: When someone hits rock bottom, the only way to go is up. This book has earned a high rating of four Doves.

Content Description

Sex: Various people were sexually abused, according to their testimonies; a Christian couple shares kisses; the mention of a boy’s grandmother becoming a prostitute; a woman’s boyfriend pressured her to have sex, but she said no, and he proceeded to rape her; a girl had a sexual addiction and would sleep with anyone who would have her; a man is addicted to porn, visits massage parlors and is unfaithful to his wife but repents; young man marries his pregnant girlfriend; woman at club mentions that strangers fondled her as they gave her dollar tips.
Language: None (a mention that language is used, but it is not repeated).
Violence: A gas chamber in a prison; man, who was high on drugs, whipped his girlfriend with a belt; the abuse of a boy and how he was beaten; a boy’s grandmother was shot and killed; an account of the loss of a loved one during the plane crashes of 9/11.
Drugs: Statement that some of the people in the book used strong drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana; accidental drug overdose; other people in the book mention marijuana and those who used drugs and drank; drug dealing is mentioned; alcoholism is mentioned but is overcome.
Nudity: Assumed shirtless men and women’s cleavage, in reference to various descriptions in the book.
Other: A woman shares her experience of being molested by her father but talks about how she came out the other side; one man, suicidal, shares how he once wanted to jump off a bridge; man transported aliens to country; comment about the bad life of some people when they were children; a gambling addiction and regular visitation to casinos and running up credit card debt; a man committed crimes but God has set him free; death and grief.

Christian International Film Festival