The great novelist Joseph Conrad once wrote, "My task which I am trying to
achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you
feel—it is before all, to make you see. That--and no more, and it is everything."
In Heaven Sent Alison Longstaff does just that. She makes us hear; she makes
us feel; and above all she makes us see. She makes us see the tormented heart
of a young widow who cannot allow herself to fall in love again, because she
believes she is still married to her husband in heaven; she makes us see the
wounded heart of a young pastor who must overcome a family tragedy in order
to learn how to forgive; she makes us see the struggling heart of a small church
community, shattered by differences of opinion on how to conduct worship. But
most of all, she makes us see ourselves, in each of these characters---empathizing
with their weaknesses, admiring them for their strengths, and loving them for
their humanity. Her characters are real; they live before our eyes; and they
speak to our hearts. As the story ends we feel moved, edified, and inspired.
The colors that surround us take on deeper, richer hues; and our feeling of
solidarity with others with whom we share this planet is enlarged.
is a great book not only because it opens our eyes so that we may see more clearly,
but also because it opens our hearts so that we may love more deeply.
If you are planning an extended trip, try bringing along the audio book version
of Heaven Sent. You will be enthralled by the magnificent speaking voice of
professional actor Jason Carter; you will love the eight delightful musical
selections that are seamlessly woven into the text; and you may find yourself
getting to your destination a lot quicker than you had ever imagined!
Ray Silverman, Ph.D.
Co-author of "Rise Above It" and Co-founder
of Touchstone Seminars
Bryn Athyn College, Pennsylvania, May 2005