#BookReview The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthorTitle: The Things We Learn When We're Dead

Author: Charlie Laidlaw

Published by Accent Press Ltd on January 26, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 501

Format: Paperback

Source: Charlie Laidlaw

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.
It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.


Review:

Fresh, fantastical, and unique!

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is an exceptionally innovative adventure that takes you on a journey with Lorna Love as she remembers her life back in North Berwick, explores an afterlife on HVN, meets some outrageous characters, including God, and realizes that every choice, good or bad has a consequence.

The prose is humorous and expressive. The characters are complex, rich, reflective, and intriguing. And the plot written in a back-and forth, past/present style is a well-crafted tale about life, death, emotion, introspection, friendship, acceptance, and second chances.

As most people know, I’m not a huge lover of sci-fi or fantasy novels, but The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is definitely an exception. It’s creative, compelling, and witty and does a tremendous job of highlighting all the quirky intricacies of life, and ultimately reminds us that change is inevitable.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

http://picasion.com/gl/9CQG/

 

 

Thank you to Charlie Laidlaw for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review and for his patience while it made it to the top of my TBR pile!

 

About Charlie Laidlaw

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland (quite near Paisley, but thankfully not too close) and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian.