Robert J. Newell “Bob” – 5 stars on Amazon – This is supposedly a novel, and yet it is and it isn’t. It’s a story that combines both truth and fiction to create something amazing. Author Donna Mebane and her family suffered the unimaginable tragedy of losing her daughter, Emma, when Emma was just 19 years old. As a parent myself, I can’t conceive of the grief that the family suffered, and I don’t know how I would ever come to grips with it. Ms. Mebane’s answer was to write this story, and she did it beautifully. Emma becomes all the loss any of us have ever known, and in that way this story becomes not just Ms. Mebane’s, but ours too. It’s not easy to read; emotion wells up from every page, every paragraph. If you too are a parent, you might not even be able to get through the book. But do try. It’s a rewarding experience even if it’s difficult. The book expresses profound grief, yet it also bears a message of great hope. Ms. Mebane’s fictional view of the afterlife is made very real, very logical, even; it makes sense and is never over the top. If you don’t believe that maybe we can go to a better place, you’ll believe, or at least want to believe, after reading this story. Ms. Mebane says Emma is still with her. I don’t doubt that for a moment. Read this book, even if it’s not the kind of thing you’d usually read. It will change you for the better.