A Professional Review of Conversations in Heaven
Conversations in Heaven is about the life and death of Julie, an Italian-American woman. It is a narrative of a life lived in service to God, her journey in the afterlife, and the people she meets there. It is a deeply spiritual story that clearly illustrates fundamental Christian values and the importance of compassion and love in an individual’s life.
The reader will notice the distinct style of the author of going through each character’s life, describing in poignant detail each milestone that defines them in their deaths. The chapters effectively develop their personalities by taking the time to paint each thought and feeling as Julie listens to them one by one.
The stories are seamlessly woven into Julie’s journey through Heaven after her life ends violently. The conversations become a testament to how God has touched every person that she’s met in her first foray into the afterlife. As everyone recalls their past, they realize the wonder of their present and how worthwhile the hardships on earth were.
The author makes effective use of imagery to describe the way Heaven is seen in Julie’s eyes. Julie’s character in itself is created as down-to-earth and very relatable, such as when she sees Jesus for the first time, the awe and joy are also felt by the reader.
The novel does not take itself too seriously as to alienate readers who are not particularly spiritual. The overall tone is that of a happy story with a main character that, while obviously flawed, is endearing. The statements are easy to take in and light-hearted, although the dialogue has a tendency to progress into unnatural depositions.
The theme of the novel is heavy on Christianity and salvation. However, it will appeal to readers of other religions or beliefs, it caters to its target audience well. Christian teachings on abstinence, forgiveness, and faith are clearly present and repeatedly emphasized.
Perhaps the biggest issue that the book will face is its depiction of Islam and the current situation in Afghanistan. Some readers might disagree with how the Muslims’ Allah is described as compared to the Christians’ God. The implied view that Islam promotes a violent and vengeful higher being in one of the character’s stories might be taken badly.
Additionally, the style of writing each character’s life is compressed in a few short chapters, the events of the Afghan war might have been oversimplified.
For those new to the Christian faith, it is a good introduction to Christianity; and for the well-versed, it is a refreshing take on the promises that God makes to his followers.
Religion aside, the novel sticks to the basics of a tried and true story where good triumphs over evil despite the odds. Each character’s life is a narrative of suffering and hopelessness that were overcome with perseverance and love.
For those who need a comforting and easy read about God and his teachings, the novel is highly recommended. Its creative take on the afterlife is a refreshing way to look at one’s faith and find strength in it further.