Published: February 22nd, 2011
“Julia and Michael meet in high school in their small, poverty-stricken West Virginia hometown. Both products of difficult childhoods — Julia’s father is a compulsive gambler and Michael’s mother abandoned his family when he was a young boy – they find a sense of safety and mutual understanding in each other. Shortly after graduation they flee West Virginia to start afresh. Now thirty-somethings, they are living a rarified life in their multi-million-dollar,Washington D.C. home. From the outside it all looks perfect – Julia has become a highly sought-after party planner, while Michael has launched a wildly successful flavored water company that he sold for $70 million.
But one day Michael stands up at the head of the table in his company’s boardroom — then silently crashes to the floor. More than four minutes later, a portable defibrillator manages to jump-start his heart. Yet what happened to Michael during those lost minutes forever changes him. Money is meaningless to him now – and he wants to give it all away to charity. A prenuptial agreement that Julia insisted upon back when Michael’s company was still struggling means she has no claim to his fortune, and now she must decide: should she walk away from the man she once adored, but who truthfully became a stranger to her long before his near-death experience – or should she give in to her husband’s pleas for a second chance and a promise of a poorer but happier life?”
Oh. My. God. What a great book. Sarah Pekkanen really made you feel the pain, shock, and love throughout this story.
From being small town nobodies to owning a business with a net worth of $70 million dollars, what is bound to go wrong? When Michael has a heart attack that stops his heart from beating, Julia’s world comes crashing down. When Michael’s heart is restarted, he wakes up a changed man. What happened while he was dead that changed his whole person from being a greedy businessman to being the devoted, thoughtful husband that Julia needed him to be? When he wakes up and wants to give away everything they have, can Julia stay with the man she loved since they were in high school? This is the ultimate test.
I loved this book a lot because it was spiritual. If you don’t believe in spirits and the afterlife, I’d suggest that this book isn’t really for you. However, since I am, it was so intriguing to hear Michael’s story of what happened to him. It was truly beautiful.
I think Sarah Pekkanen did a beautiful job of switching up the character’s emotions. I went from hating him to loving him, to hating her, to loving them both, to hating them both, and more. I kept switching how I felt and I think that is due to the wonderful writing that the author portrayed.
I don’t think you can go wrong with this book. Read it! If you are an emotional reader like me, have tissues ready!