4 out of 4 stars
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William Anton Rich was killed in a car wreck in October of 1996. His family eventually learned that the accident was caused by a driver under the influence of drugs. "..William did not have to die on the highway that night. His crash was totally preventable. He died because someone chose to take drugs and get behind the wheel of an automobile."
In Beyond Doubt: A Supernatural Journey to WAR Against Broken Hearts, Martha Rich chronicled the heartbreaking story of her son's sudden death and the mysterious encounters following. She transparently shared her struggle to understand the spiritual promptings that resulted in the creation of the DUI-prevention program that has since reached hundreds of thousands of people. Fittingly, the program was named after William's initials: W.A.R.
Rich wrote from a Christian perspective, pairing an earnest writing style with a meticulously organized timeline. Between the spiritual implications related to William's death and the program she founded to promote DUI prevention, there were a lot of details to process; she recounted them with clarity. Rich was unflinching in her efforts to prevent DUI-related deaths despite some of the skepticism she received about her spiritual experiences after William's death. One need not believe in spiritual visitations to come away enriched by her story. As a Christian myself, I was impressed by Rich’s perseverance, strength, and sincerity.
At the beginning of the book, Rich acknowledged that "some of the multi-faceted spiritual images were somewhat diminished when they were transferred from the digital files onto the printed pages." In all honesty, I was unable to detect some of the images she so passionately described. However, Rich also shared dreams, visitations, and mysterious coincidences, some involving complete strangers. While I didn't agree with a few of her conclusions, there wasn't really anything I disliked about the book. I appreciated Rich's transparent portrayal of William's background, the events following his death, and her ability to challenge my thinking.
Much of the book focused on the development of Rich's program, and there were multiple references to the website, waragainstbrokenhearts.org. However, none of the textual references linked directly to it, a simple correction that I would recommend. I've included the following quote from the website: "To assist in educating the public regarding the heartbreak of DUI, we offer Anti-DUI Victim Impact films for viewing or to download from this website. This material is FREE to use and share in hopes that a future tragedy may be prevented."
Considering the book's organized timeline, professional editing, and educative promotion of DUI prevention, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. Although Rich's journey is told from a Christian perspective, her transparency and passion may appeal to readers of various faiths, possibly even nonbelievers. Additionally, I recommend the book to those who believe in angels, spiritual visitations, and life after death.
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