Heaven is Here – Book Review

Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy
by Stephanie Nielson

I hesitated to read this book. I didn’t start reading nienie until after her plane crash and news of her spread around the blogosphere like wild fire. I started reading, and went back and read a few stories from before the crash. I think that only knowing her post crash, I am used to the way she looks. I am fine with her burns, and would like to think if I met her in real life, I wouldn’t stare and would love her for who she is, not how she looks.

The first section that details her life before the crash was a bit frustrating for me. She has no academic or career ambitions, and this is so contrary to my goals and passions in my life. I love to work, I loved school, and would participate in both every semester of my life if I could. I think Stephanie’s idea of life isn’t as common as people would assume it is for a young Mormon mom. It did, however, make me feel guilty for not enjoying the slow, mindless, sweet or funny moments of motherhood to the extent that I felt I should.

Because I love her for who she is post crash, it was frustrating to read of her life in the hospital. I was amazed at the love and support her siblings showed for her. I am jealous that her brothers and sisters would take turns spending the night in her room, so if she woke up she wouldn’t be scared. Her sister left her massive amount of children behind to care for her in AZ and translate nurse talk to human talk. While I personally feel that would be unnecessary and her time would be better served at home, I am humbled by the love she had to care and sacrifice for her sister. In her recovery, you can relate to her, you want to cheer for her, hold her hands, and drag her out of her dark place.