5 out of 5 Stars
*I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own*
The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.
On the way home from a dinner party, 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?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?
In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.
“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”
I am so sorry it took me so long to write this review. I read the book ages ago, but it is so mind blowingly deep that I had to stew on it for a while to try to get my thoughts in order….. which still hasn’t happened because, well hell, this is me! Ha ha!
The complexities of this book as Lorna tries to figure our where she is after waking up on HVN while remembering bits and pieces of her life as everything begins to sort of muddle together,
“Our brains can’t remember everything, that’s the truth of it. A lifetime of memories, that’s what you get, and then you die. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Instead, we’ve been here for many, many lifetimes. Too many memories for one brain, sweetie. So, old memories get erased to make way for the new ones.”
I love this Arthur Conan Doyle way of thinking. Sherlock always believed that we have a finite amount of space in our brains and we should pick and choose what is important to learn and remember. IT MAKES COMPLETE SENSE TO ME!! (And then I know what to blame if I forget something!)
The characters in this book were amazing. The crass, smoking Irene from the quote above, the hippie looking version of “God”, and Trinity, the ships computer who likes to be treated nicely and have you mind your P’s and Q’s,
“Trinity does like to hear please and thank you,” Irene advised over her shoulder. “It’s not compulsory to be nice but, as you’ll find, if you’re nice to her, she’ll be especially helpful to you. Whenever you see a wall panel with a green triangle on it, you know you’re beside a transporter stop. If you can’t find one, as Trinity. Wherever you are on this facility, you just have to ask. Usually, Trinity will respond.”
“But, not always.”
“No. Not always.”
This book covered SO MUCH!! Like, in heaven, do you just get what you want all the time? Or do you earn it? Isn’t half of the fun of owning something the feeling of accomplishment you get when you finally earn it?? Or, all of the religious wars that have happened in our time, is heaven really a necessary construct to begin with??
“All those lives lived in the shadow of a personal creator and each believing that they’re right and that they alone will find immortality.”
“Without a belief in Heaven, wouldn’t everyone on Earth get along a little better?”
All I can say is READ. THIS. BOOK.
It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s confusing, yet thought provoking. I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE!!
If this interests you and you think you want to be a part of the tour for Charlie’s second book “The Space between Time” Contact Shannon at Reads & Reels! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!
The Things we Learn when We’re Dead is Best Served with a White Wine and Soda
I know. This drink hurt my soul a little. But, it just so happens to be Lorna’s favourite drink! And, my sister says that it is VERY refreshing in the nice weather!!
- White Wine of choice
- Club Soda or Soda Water
- Fill glass half to 3/4 white wine (as preferred)
- Top with Soda