August 3, 2017

Author: Connie Willis.


A tunnel, a light, a door. And beyond it … the unimaginable.

Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. She is about to get help from a new doctor with the power to give her the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.

A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Joanna’s first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined — so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why that place is so hauntingly familiar.

But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid.

Yet just when Joanna thinks she understands, she’s in for the biggest surprise of all — a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page.

(Published summary)

My Thoughts:

Connie Willis’s characters are, as in Bellwether, neatly characterized and sharply amusing. I do think the drawn-out suspense of not-knowing basically anything for much of the book can get frustrating, but it’s all part of her style.

Content Review:

Sexual Content: He “asked her if it was true there wasn’t any sex in heaven”. / Little girl says she’s not allowed to watch Titanic because there’s a sex scene. Nurse thinks there’s something romantic (making out probably) going on between a man and woman alone in a stair well, but she’s mistaken.

Language: 18 d***, 13 hell, 9 scatological terms, 2 derogatory terms.

Violence: Man dies of heart attack. Second hand account of several people being attacked by a knife-wielding man on a drug. A woman shows up with a bandaged arm and turns out to have been shot. There’s a (very ill) little girl fascinated by disasters; throughout the book she mentions facts about such disasters as the Hidenburg, the Titanic, Pompii, and others.


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