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** My thanks to Charlie Laidlaw for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, 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 ageing hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…

 

My Thoughts & Review:

When I originally looked at this book I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, certainly it sounded very intriguing but so very far from my usual crime thriller reads but what’s life without a little spontaneity?  When my copy of the book arrived, I picked it up and idly flicked through the pages to get a feel for the book and before long I was curled up on the sofa with a cuppa and utterly entranced by Lorna Love and her strange new world.

I’m not a big reader of sci-fi or anything that challenges my logically wired brain.  My brain isn’t a fan of accepting that things exist outside of this dimension, and if I do read books erring towards the side of fantasy my brain always shouts “but how would that work?” or “but why?”.  But somehow with The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, this voice was quiet, it accepted quickly the setting of the book, it was happy with the plot and more importantly, was unquestioningly connected with Lorna Love and her tale for the duration.

This is a wonderfully quirky book with so much character, from the moment we meet Lorna we are given a wonderful insight into her mind.  Seeing things through her eyes we learn of events from her childhood and growing up in North Berwick in Scotland, but we also discover her new life aboard HVN with God and the crew of the dysfunctional spaceship.  She is a character that I think many readers will be able to connect with, there’s a very likeable quality to her and I certainly felt that I could share her emotions as I read on.
The way that this book is written shows a great skill by the author, the plot is clever and so magnificently woven together.  When Lorna recounts a tale from her younger years it links perfectly with what is happening in current time and the anecdotal comments that pop in her head add to the delightfully humorous narrative.
With such a light-hearted and humorous approach to serious ideas, this book gives readers pause for thought and leaves them pondering life and choices.  The overarching theme of acceptance is a huge part of this book, as is the idea that the decisions we make play a part in more that just our lives, impacting on others around us.

I must admit that I fell a little in love with this book, it was so enjoyable to read and it’s one that I may well go back and reread at a later date (you know it’s a good book when I want to do that!).  I would wholeheartedly recommend this book, I absolutely loved it!

You can buy a copy of The Things We Learn When We’re Dead via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 


Giveaway

Charlie Laidlaw has kindly offered to sign a proof copy of The Things We Learn When We’re Dead as a giveaway for you lucky readers!  How brilliant is  that?!  To be in with a chance of winning a copy, just leave me a wee comment below telling me which celebrity you might want to look like if you were aboard HVN.

Competition is open to UK entries only (sorry guys, due to postage costs going to have to keep this as UK) and competition will close on 11th October.  Winning entry will be drawn in the usual fashion – first name out hat 🙂

Good luck!!

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