Small decisions can have unintended consequences, but sometimes we get a second chance.
On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.
It soon transpires that she is in heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all?
At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…
This book was sent to me by the Author – many thanks Charlie Laidlaw, who in correspondence with me described the book as,
Essentially, it’s a modern reworking for an adult readership of The Wizard of Oz – how a young woman in tragic circumstances looks back at her life.
It’s a modern fairytale, told with good humour…
I didn’t know what to expect but as an avid reader was intrigued and after receiving my copy placed it on my shelf where it sat with all my other must read books (in very good company I must say) for a while before I finally picked it up.
Essentially Lorna’s story is told backwards as she retrieves her memories lost during her transition to heaven. She observes her life move from her childhood ideals to someone less recognisable to her. Her time spent in HVN, as described in the blurb is fantastic, humorous and very clever. As the story progresses, we see parallels between Lorna’s Heaven and life on earth, a sense of deja vu pervades as events are mirrored in both ‘zones’. The cast of Heaven is unique and contributes to the originality of the story and its entertainment factor, as is the author’s take on Heaven and how it came to be.
But what this book is really about is a second chance, a chance to reflect on where you have been and a chance to be the person you want to be. Lorna is given the opportunity to observe her life through her recovering of her memory and for the reader, the story is told in a now and then format which I liked a lot. There are some truly humorous moments as we learn about other people who have been ‘helped’ via HVN and had a life changing impact on the world as a consequence. But this story has some sad and dark moments too as Lorna learns of hardships and losses she has faced in her life on earth.
Described by the author as a modern reworking of The Wizard of Oz, substituting Kansas for Scotland and Oz for Heaven of course. But on reflection this feels like an accurate description of this quirky and fun book that is incredibly readable. Told entirely in the third person this is a story about Lorna, surrounded by a cast of engaging characters, I particularly liked Suzie, Lorna’s best friend since childhood, and Lorna of course!
So you like the sound of it and are now thinking, ‘where can I get a copy?’ and I have some good news for you! I understand from the author that you can get a free (FREE) download of The Things We Learn When We’re Dead from Bookbub for a limited period between 13th and 27th June. GO, GO, GO!