A book of big themes in modest plumage.
This deceptively readable book, compels attention for it is multi-layered, a love story without sentimentality, a philosophy without striving for definitions or qualifications, a thriller, and for a reader a compelling page turner. It breaks many rules, the plot is the growth to understanding of the principal character, the guide enigmatic and never didactic, the circumstances could have happened to anyone. So it is also a cautionary tale. It is a more honest and less self –important book than the blockbuster hyped ‘Proof of Heaven’ by Eban Alexander, whose publishers perhaps were intent on presenting a tract that brooked no doubt.
It begins with an accident that severs the character from his prone corporeal body and thereby neatly severs two realities, the comatose character in a hospital observed by his counterpart, the likeable, no-nonsense first person narrator. Liberated from the routines of his normal existence he is free to comment on his relations with their Catholic certainties, his colleagues, his beloved and despairing bereft wife. But between their visits to his bedside he is free to explore his survival and the freedoms he begins to navigate in other worlds of creativity. He meets enigmatic assistants whose chief attributes are a refusal to do more then help him to orientate and to gradually expand into greater and greater self determination.
Gradually the components of mythology, language and belief are plaited into his experiences, and his understanding enlarges so that his past, and his present, his theoretical and experiential knowledge become a union.
This could be misunderstood, as a post –mortem promotional philosophy, a thinly disguised evangelical novel, but that would be to fail to accompany the very real confusion with which it begins and the growing clarity the adventure offers. The reader is invited on a quest for understanding, but will be free to make it his own. It is a very interesting book and one feels that it was written as an exercise in self examination, of universal relevance. It asks all the important questions and suggests answers to many of them.