3 out of 4 stars
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Traumatic events force us to reexamine our lives and view things from a different perspective. Usually, these fateful encounters help us reconnect to ourselves and uncover insights buried within our minds rather than revealing hidden secrets or unfathomable truths. Micky Havelock's Dying to See You offers the author's account of her own fateful encounter during a near-death experience and how it set her on a path of self-discovery.
The book consists of seventeen chapters. The first half recounts the author's emergency trip to the hospital following a cardiac arrest and subsequent near-death experience, while the second half focuses on the aftermath. The book aims to bring some of the hope, comfort, and positive insights Havelock received from her spiritual journey to the reader.
During her trip to the other realm, Havelock met her husband, Iain, who had passed away four years earlier, as well as her grandparents and aunt. She learned about the spiritual world's inner workings while being embraced by pure, overwhelming love. Havelock was unwilling to part with her loved ones again, which renewed her grief afterward. She also felt guilty and selfish for wanting to leave her children and remaining family on Earth, bottling up her thoughts and experiences due to fearing that no one would understand.
Though spirituality plays a central role in the narrative, the author invokes universal themes, desires, and fears while capturing the reader's heart through relatable writing regardless of their beliefs. I particularly enjoyed the book's use of stream-of-consciousness narration to depict the turbulent emotional states caused by depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions: "I was overcome with panic. Panic at leaving him, panic that I'd left my kids. No, wait, I needed more time. More time to be with him, more time to hold him, more time to… Iain shoved me."
Unfortunately, the writing sometimes falls flat due to technical issues. Besides typographical and grammatical errors, problems include irregular comma usage, confusing sentences, awkward phrasing, and poor word choice. These issues aren't egregious and don't happen too often but still temporarily break the reader's immersion. The book would likely benefit from another round of editing.
Dying to See You is a great companion to every reader on a quest to authenticity and purpose. While the book should appeal to spiritual-minded people, especially those interested in near-death experiences and the afterlife, fans of self-help literature in general can also find plenty to enjoy. That said, since I feel the writing needs a bit more polish, I rate the title 3 out of 4 stars. There are only a few borderline profanities and no particularly inappropriate content, so the book is suitable for most audiences.
Dying to See You
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