Book Review: To Heaven and Back by Mary Neal

Beth Suelzle

4 Stars

July 21, 2012

To Heaven and Back was a fast read. It kept me wondering what was going to happen next. It’s a fairly “scientific” read because Mary Neal is an orthopaedic surgeon and a lot of her book talks about her conditions, medically.

Mary talks about how she wasn’t a strong Christian woman during her near death experience, but it totally changed her life. She had her near death experience while kayaking on the Chilean River. She was trapped in her boat under the rapids for a period of time that should have claimed her life, but rather she says she was held by angels and Jesus and told that her time on her was not finished (as she was told her 9 year old son would die and her husband would need her comfort on earth…which her son did die, 10 years later at 19 years old).

I really enjoyed how Dr. Neal incorporated scripture into her book. She uses 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice Always”. She talks about how she was always “happy” but JOY is a totally different happiness. “Even when it feels as if we are being crushed by earthly troubles, we can remain joyful. If we keep our focus on God, our spirit cannot be trampled. Joy is a state of mind and a state of being. It reflects a conscious choice to believe in the promises of the bible” pg. 93.

Towards the end of her book she includes a creed that she follows, which I found great.

I believe God’s promises are true. I believe heaven is real. I believe nothing can separate me from God’s love. I believe God has work for me to do. I believe God will see me through and carry me when I cannot walk.

While I’m not sure where I stand on “near death” experiences I found Mary’s book to be moving and inspirational and I’d recommend the book to everyone. It really opens your eyes.

Last week the Today show featured Mary Neal and talked about her book.