Thursday, April 19, 2012

Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson

I first heard about Stephanie Nielson and her Nie Nie Dialogues after her accident a couple of years ago. She was still in a coma so her sister was posting updates to her blog. I checked back about once each week to see her progress, and I was thrilled when the news came that she had awakened. After that I would pop in about once every week or two, but I honestly just didn't keep up with her very much after she began writing again. So, imagine my surprise when I ran across this book in Target one day. I picked it up and looked at it, but didn't buy it. A few days later I went back and decided to purchase it. Apparently I am a voyeur and I can't resist reading about other people's lives.

For those of you who are unaware of who she is, Stephanie and her husband Christian were nearly killed in a plane crash in Arizona. She was burned over 80% of her body. He broke his back, and several other bones. They both nearly succumbed to their injuries. This is the story of their life before, and after, the accident.

In all honestly, I was not much of a Nie Nie fan. I stopped reading her blog because she was always advertising something. Don't flame me - I was sure she was a very nice person, it was nothing personal. I just see enough commercials when I turn on the TV, I don't want to see them on  blogs and Facebook pages. But after reading this book, I am a HUGE Nie Nie fan. You still won't find me stalking her blog or anything, but I cannot even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading her story.

This book was incredibly inspiring. I loved reading about her marriage, and how they kept the romance in their lives, and how she cared for her children. She had such a joyful life and it was tragic how it nearly ended.

But then you get to read about how they rebuilt everything. It was charming, and sweet, and lovely. She shared her heart. She shared her pain. She shared her insecurities. It was a beautifully written story and I could not put this book down until I had finished the last page. I was touched and inspired. In a nutshell: You need to read this book.

This is not like my typical book reviews - I did not receive this book for free. I am not gaining anything with my review. I do not know Stephanie Nielson, nor anyone in her family. 


Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing your review. I used to read her blog and stopped for similar reasons. Glad to know the book is different - I'll add it to my "to read" list!

Marti's World said...

Thank you for commenting, Jennifer. :) I got the impression that a lot of her advertising was as a thank-you because she received donations and help from so many people. I'm not positive, but it just seemed that way to me. Let me know how you like the book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marti, this sounds like a book I would love! I am almost done reading a Joyce Meyer book that is really good too. I will go and buy it in my nook and take it to the hospital with me next week. Love you, Mom

France said...

I was vaguely familiar with the story before I read the book. I expected the book to be the story of the plane crash and her recovery. And it was. But it felt like more. Stephanie is completely honest about her struggles. She shares her feelings and experiences even when they are negative. She talks about feeling like her family would be better off without her. She was reluctant to see her kids again. She couldn't bear to have her husband visit for a while. It isn't all rainbows are joy. But the pain she shares makes her accomplishments and attitude even more wonderful. The way she invites you to understand her struggles gave me some insight into some of my own. It also reminded me how much I love my siblings and want my own children to have that close relationship.

I had planned to read the book over a couple of days but despite the heavy subject matter it was an easy read and I read it in one night. I didn't get teary at all until near the end her little boy, Ollie, told a stranger in a resturant to stop staring at his mom. It was hard not to be moved by the little boy's courage and all that family had been through.

Marti Cobb said...

I agree with you, France. There were so many touching moments in the book. Thank you for commenting! :)