Savannah Watkins awakens to a horrific dream of losing her family in a tragic car accident, which causes her to vacillate between two lives…before and after the car accident. As she struggles between realities, Jesus Christ suddenly appears to offer her unorthodox guidance. He accompanies her to the grocery store and for walks on the beach while answering some of life’s toughest questions. His answers challenge her traditional beliefs and repeatedly emphasize there is no death.
I want to start off by saying that I do not really consider myself as the most religious person out there, and I have told that to the author as well, when I was offered the book for review. The author’s response surprised me, because she told me that she is not religious either and that the story came to her in a dream. I found that quite interesting, so of course, I have signed up for the journey.
As it is stated in the description, we follow Savannah, who believes she is having a dream about a horrific car accident. Now this right here is quite interesting, because it divides us. She actually lives in two different realities. The reality in which she had a car crash is what we would call our reality, this is what really happened (or did it?). The reality in which she meets Jesus Christ, is the reality that SHE believes is the real one. She passes through these worlds with dreams, so when she falls asleep in the world where she had an accident, the world with Jesus Christ is her world of dreams. But when she falls asleep in that world, she awakes in the other world, in which she had the accident. I know it may sound complicated, but it is not.
Here is a small design of how this goes down, for those of you who did not quite understand that.
Now, while reading the book, this transition between the worlds was quite unnerving for me, because I knew that she lived in the world where the accident took place. But after I finished the book and went through it a few times in my mind, like I always do before I write a review, I now see that I might have made a mistake to assume that. Before I tell you why, I want to tackle the elephant in the room.
To be perfectly honest, I smiled to myself when Jesus Christ was first introduced to me as a reader. It was just so simple and so plain, and everyone just instantly believed it was him without any serious doubt (there was some, but not too serious). It sounded a bit childish. He hangs out with our protagonist, and is there to answer any of her questions. More than once, her question gets a question in response, questions that require some thought. Even from you, the reader. You stop yourself to think about how you would answer the question. They are not about religion or stuff like that, they are about living in the world, being happy and most of all, feeling loved and giving love. I believe this right here is a fair assessment on why this book is not only for the religious people, but for others as well. Not to mention the metaphors behind the conversations, but I will let you all see those for yourselves.
Now to return to my previous thought. After thinking about it, I can see just why Savannah would claim that she lives in the world with Jesus. The reason is, because the author did an absolutely beautiful job in separating us. What do I mean? If you look at this book from a religious standpoint, the world with Jesus will be the world you believe she is actually alive in. If you look at this book from a non-religious standpoint you will, like I did, believe that she is alive in the world without him, the materialistic, harsh world that we all know. The story is left open to interpret it as how you want. If any of you have read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, you will know exactly what I mean. Those of you who have not read it, The Turn of the Screw is a story that is also left up for interpretation. You can read it 5 different times, and you will understand it differently 5 different times. Same with this book. This also brings me to the ending of the book, which also gives you just enough information, but leaves it up for interpretation. You can only speculate about what happened, there is no definitive answer. Or rather, there is an answer, but it depends on what approach you take.
As the last point, I would just like to mention the cover, as it is absolutely beautiful, one of the best I have seen in a while.
All of this considered, the only thing that did bother me, was the appearance of Jesus for the first time, as I have mentioned before. Maybe a bit too direct, too naive. But then again, it is only my opinion. For someone religious it might be just the way he or she sees it happen in his own mind. I will, however, consider it from my point of view, so…
Book recommendation: 9/10