Paul Young, author of the international bestseller, The Shack, tells a story of the incremental transformation of a man caught in the torments of his own creation, somewhere between heaven and earth.
Anthony Spencer is egotistical, proud of being a self-made business success at the peak of his game, even though the cost of winning was painfully high. A cerebral hemorrhage leaves Tony comatose in a hospital ICU. He 'awakens' to find himself in a surreal world, a 'living' landscape that mirrors dimensions of his earthly life, from the beautiful to the corrupt. It is here that he has vivid interactions with others he assumes are projections of his own subconscious, but whose directions he follows nonetheless with the possibility that they might lead to authenticity and perhaps, redemption. The adventure draws Tony into deep relational entanglements where he is able to 'see' through the literal eyes and experiences of others, but is "blind" to the consequences of hiding his personal agenda and loss that emerge to war against the processes of healing and trust. Will this unexpected coalescing of events cause Tony to examine his life and realize he built a house of cards on the poisoned grounds of a broken heart? Will he also have the courage to make a critical choice that can undo a major injustice he set in motion before falling into a coma?
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Make sure you read right to the end. This book reconnects your personal relationship with God- thank you Wm Paul Young
Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers' Favorite
Anthony Spencer is a self-centered, egotistic man who only sees what can benefit him and nothing else. When a health condition causes him to fall and strike his head, he ends up in a coma where he finds himself rubbing elbows with Jesus. The journey shows him the error of his ways, the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and, most importantly, the option to choose between himself and another. He finds himself in the mind of a Down Syndrome teenager who had been playing hide and seek in the hospital, winding up in Tony's room (and then something happens but that would be a spoiler).
The story line is so well thought out that you cannot help but wonder if the author didn't have -- or know somebody that had-- this experience. The book is like a slowly forming epiphany for the reader. When the main character gets his "aha" moment, it is likely that the reader does also. I listened to the audio book version and loved the actor's voices and their take on their personalities. I especially loved that the author has two characters with special meaning, one being the down syndrome boy ("Cabby"). There are a couple of scenes that are downright hilarious despite the somber tone of the book. I found myself laughing out loud in traffic...and then I went back to the beginning of that chapter and listened again; it was that hilarious! There are tear-jerker moments, too; so be sure to have those tissues within arm's reach.