This book was not something I would usually read (although I’ve been saying that a lot lately, so who knows) but for personal reasons reading about Dale Reppert’s struggle with meningitis interested me.
It’s hard to judge non-fiction in the same way as fiction; you can’t critique the plot or the characters in the same way. However, this book overall is touching, and personally I’m glad that the Repperts took the time to tell their story, especially since it was such an emotional journey for the both of them. One of the strengths of the work is that they don’t seem to hold much back, and they tell the story as it occurred even if at times their actions are not flattering. It’s also interesting how the Repperts insert their faith into the book; it’s not as in your face as the title might have you believe, but rather subtle (and more realistic because of this).
Of course there are flaws, the first of those being that neither Laura nor Dale seem to have any writing experience, but even if the writing is simple it’s still emotional.
I think the greatest issue is that the title (and the blurb on the back) indicate that it’s going to be a story about Dale’s experience in heaven—similar, perhaps, to the famous The Five People You Meet In Heaven (maybe I’ll review that one someday…). However, this is not what the Repperts have written. The “Detour” Dale took is the subject of only a few paragraphs of the book, and in fact I missed it and had to back track two chapters when I Dale started talking about how the detour had affected him. Because so little of the book is about the detour, I think the book could have been rebranded, perhaps increasing the potential audience.
Either way, whether you agree with Dale’s assessment that he took a detour to heaven or not, it’s a quick and heartwarming first book from Dale and Laura Reppert.
(I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway, in exchange for an honest review).