Friday, July 18, 2008


by Connie Willis

This is a gripping story. The characters are realistic and compelling. Willis manages to tell this story about NDE research, that has you longing for an answer, yet nearly consumed with compassion for her characters.

Joanne is working on researches NDEs from a scientific and psychological point of view. She is hampered by the intrusion of an author who is more interested in selling books and saying what he thinks people want to hear than in producing an honest report of what happens during these near death experiences. He leads patients on and implants ideas, thus contaminating the information Joanne is trying to garner.

The arrival on the scene of yet another NDE reasearcher would seem improbable in a single hospital setting, yet somehow Dr Wrights appearance is blended carefully enough into the storyline that it makes perfect sense. He is researching near death experiences from a physical cause point of view. Joanna teams up with Dr Wright and things start happening pretty cquickly.

Wright and Joanna carefully compile a lot of information that seems to be going nowhere. Their team of volunteers begins to fall apart. Even though they are working with the same information, it looks like they are both being led in different directions.

This is an edge of the seat read for anyone who likes Willis, or is interested in NDE's. The ending is just that. I was completely unable to guess where it would all lead until the last page ended. And still, She leaves it to you to draw your own conclusions . I heartily recommend this book!

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