What a superb book with which to start my reading decade!
I was lucky enough to end the twenty-tens with a brilliant read, The Way: A Girl Who Dared to Rise by Kristen Wolf. Picking another great book with which to start the ‘twenties has made me very happy.
Eddie is a fairground maintenance man with tonnes of experience of both life and his work. He is an Army veteran. On his eighty-third birthday, he meets with a tragic death while trying to save the life of a little girl who is a split second away from being crushed by one of the rides.
Death is not the end. It is the beginning.
Eddie arrives in Heaven and meets five people who have either had a significant effect on his life or whose lives he has significantly affected. He discovers much more than he ever knew about the back stories of his interactions with these people.
The book is beautifully crafted and very thought-provoking.
One of the people whom he meets in Heaven was never known to him during his life, yet she had a significant effect upon that life.
Another, predictably, so not really a spoiler, is his wife. Their love for each other made my heart boom and brought tears to my eyes. All five of the meetings stirred deep emotions in me.
There were several passages which resonated deeply with me.
As an adult runner, I have often spread my wings as I run through the countryside and imagined that I am an aeroplane, so I loved this:
It might have seemed ridiculous to anyone watching, this white-haired maintenance worker, all alone, making like an airplane. But the running boy is inside every man, no matter how old he gets.
Having lost my own father in March 2019, this short extract sprang off the page at me:
Through it all, despite it all, Eddie privately adored his old man, because sons will adore their fathers through even the worst behaviour. It is how they learn devotion. Before he can devote himself to God or a woman, a boy will devote himself to his father, even foolishly, even beyond explanation.
Although there a many more quotes which I could cite in this review, I’ll leave you with this one on forgiveness. It ties in well with another book that I read in the past year, Forgiveness Made Easy: The Revolutionary Guide to Moving Beyond Your Past and Truly Letting Go by Barbara J. Hunt:
“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves. “Forgive, Edward. Forgive. Do you remember the lightness you felt when you first arrived in heaven?”
This really is a wonderful book. You should read it.