Whitney – 5 stars on Amazon – There is a line in the last chapter of this book that reads “Welcome back Emma, It’s good to have you home” I feel like this little phrase sums up everything this book represents. I am not a religious person, and like many, I know not what happens to someone when they leave their physical place on Earth. So many people have so many thoughts & theories on “Heaven” or the afterlife, but the truth is none of us really know what happens after death. Reading this book proved to me that “Heaven” or “The After” is whatever we need it to be to comfort ourselves after the loss of a loved one. In my opinion “heaven” is simply an idea that makes us feel better, and this book backs up my theory. Historically “heaven” is thought to be a place in the clouds full of happiness & angels & such, but I already enjoy this authors view of “After” as a much nicer ideology. A place (or plane of existence) where not only the living, but also the dead are forced to deal with a world that is forever altered. Anyone that has lost someone close to them would find comfort in knowing that the deceased misses the living as much as vice versa. I really like the theory layed out that not only do the living struggle to find ways to hold on to their loved ones, but that those who are gone struggle in the same ways. Almost like learning to live in two different planes is another way for us to connect with those that are no longer with us. The author writes in such a manner that you really seem to get to know Emma & her family, as if you have known them all along. How hard it must be for a mother to write a book like this. Throughout the whole story while Emma is learning how to reach out to those left behind, the reader gets the feeling that connecting with her mother is a far harder task than connecting with her other loved ones. By the time you get to the end of this book, you realize that Emma has found a way to reach out to her mother. This book is just that, I get the feeling that writing this book is exactly what the author needed to do to gain that bond that she is so clearly missing with her daughter. I know that something as trivial as a book cannot really heal the broken heart caused by a lost loved one, but this book can at least make you look a things in a way that is at least comforting. This book lays out one person’s thoughts (or perhaps hopes) on what the “After” looks like. and it is a very good picture of what I hope “heaven” to be. A place where the living and the dead both struggle, and eventually succeed to continue to be a part of each other’s lives. The creation of a world that can somehow transcend sadness and give you a new (perhaps in a weird way stronger) relationship with a lost loved one. One where it feels like your loved one has truly come back, and one where the deceased can truly still feel at home. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is dealing with the loss of a loved one, it is a nice uplifting story that will help alleviate that sadness & perhaps even give you an idea or two on how to keep that love as strong as it was when you were both together.