The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw – Review.


About the Book

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.
It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.

My Review

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is a book that I find impossible to suggest a genre for. Part fantasy, coming of age, discovery and one that encourages a feel good atmosphere. It is likened to both Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Wizard of Oz. I have read neither but have watched the film of The Wizard of Oz. The only part of that I can remember is a couple of really annoying songs that I was singing to myself as I read this novel.
I haven’t read anything like this before. It felt a little strange having God as a main character, especially with the type of character he was. I thought of him as a track suit wearing grandfather who was slightly scatty.Some of the more scientific details went way over my head. Luckily they did the same for Lorna so I wasn’t entirely on my own and there wasn’t many of them.
But her memories of her life from when she was a child, her family life, friendships and relationships swept me up and I longed for her to be accepting of events and find some form of happiness.
A truly lovely novel, with some beautiful characters, with some brilliant names, that took me completely by surprise. I would like to thank the author for sending me the novel to review and apologise for taking so long to read it.
The e-book is currently offered as a free download on amazon