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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
At the age of 62 Mark is a wealthy businessman who has always put his son Martin first. Now Martin and his wife Claire are expecting their first child and want Mark to have someone special in his life and register him with an online dating service. When he meets Janine, even though they are separated by many miles they connect immediately and find themselves falling in love, with plans of spending Thanksgiving together. When Janine gets a call from Martin telling her Mark is hospitalized in a coma she immediately starts praying. While Mark is comatose he is visited by a spirit guide named Zachri, who takes him on a spiritually eye opening journey to Mark's past as well as his future with the final destination being a glimpse of heaven, with Mark having the choice of returning to his physical body or staying in Heaven so that he can help change the way the world will become.
"Pieces of You" is a book that grabbed my heart with the fairy tale wonderfulness of the love story between Mark and Janine. The emotions between these two seemed so real that I would describe them as true soul mates. This love story is just the tip of the iceberg where "Pieces of You" is concerned though. There is Mark's past, present and future, and the choice he will ultimately make. We also see how Janine is affected by the choice that Mark will make. As the author takes us on a spiritual journey with Mark we first glimpse the past and his time in Vietnam, and the emotional scars that he carried from decisions made during War, memories that were buried so deep that Mark refused to talk about them to anyone once he returned home. We then are taken to Mark's future if he decides to live. The future that Ms. Elferdink shares seems very realistic, and really gives the reader something to think about. While the glimpse of Heaven was amazing I really thought the ending might be different, but in stories that are based on a true story one doesn't always get the ending that they anticipate. Overall, "Pieces of You" reminds the reader that our actions create consequences, and while we can't change the past our actions can change the future. Thought provoking and emotionally charged, it is a unique story that left me thinking about the characters. A deeply satisfying read where the author's descriptions paint vivid pictures of the past, and leave the reader with hope for the future!