The very pleasant Charlie Laidlaw reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in checking out his new novel. To be honest, I have not read it yet, but I’m happy to give a shout out as it sounds really interesting and Charlie seems like a super nice guy! (And quite honestly, in this volunteer business, people who are pleasant and friendly get more from me than complainers and demanders).
Here’s the overview via Amazon:
Intriguing and compelling… a tale that grips until the very last page – Jodi Taylor, bestselling author of The Chronicles of St Mary’s.
On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, 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? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…
More information about the book The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is a modern fairytale of love and loss and, for those readers who want to make the connection, a retelling of The Wizard of Oz: how a young woman comes to reassess her life and find a new beginning. Lorna Love, born and brought up in small-town Scotland, is apparently killed in a car accident on the day of the London bus and tube bombings. But the afterlife isn’t quite what she expected. For a start, Heaven is a broken-down spaceship and God is the double of Sean Connery. However, the book is neither fantasy nor sci-fi; Heaven simply a dreamscape through which Lorna comes to see her life through new eyes – from the people she loved, to the death of her brother. In fulfilling familiar expectations, the book offers a counterpoint between the absurdities of Lorna’s imagined Heaven and banality of her rather ordinary life. The book, grounded in the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings, also offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even by distant events. It is, essentially, a humorous book, using an oblique construct to provide a new perspective on a familiar theme. But, while making the familiar unfamiliar, it also reassures them that Lorna will have her second chance.
“Intriguing and compelling… a tale that grips until the very last page.” Jodi Taylor, best-selling author
“Clever and compelling… this book is hugely original and well worth a read…hugely enjoyable.” Book Bag
“A gem of a book…a really good book about life and growing up.” Book Lore
Charlie Laidlaw was born in the west of Scotland and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He has been a national newspaper journalist and worked in defense intelligence. He is married with two grown-up children. Visit http://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com
Available in the USA at: