Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Authors: Celeste and Matthew Goodwin
Publisher: Plain Sight Publishing
“For the first time, I sensed that Matthew’s life was truly in danger. An intense emotion rolled over me like a dump truck. This little boy was only four years old and his entire life lay before him. I pleaded with God, Please see that Matthew has a great purpose and heal his body,” Celeste Goodwin writes in her book, A Boy Back From Heaven.
At one hundred and forty-four pages, this true story targets readers interested in the afterlife and heaven. Written by mother and son, the topic of illness, medical procedures, and suffering may be apropos for mature teens to adults. This reader wishes all pronouns involving God were capitalized for reverence.
After acknowledgements and an introduction, parent Celeste pens the bulk of twenty-two chapters, ending with words from Matthew at eleven years old. About a dozen small black and white photographs are spread throughout the pages.
Written from the mother’s standpoint, the story begins when four-year old Matthew has to have a tonsillectomy for his ongoing illnesses. Backtracking in time, the author mentions a miscarriage, the pregnancies and births of Matthew and their second son, and enjoying family life in Louisiana.
When her husband has an ominous feeling about Matthew’s upcoming surgery, Celeste tries to brush her fears away through praying to God for peace. After the surgery, Matthew rallies at first, only to have dangerously high blood pressure and vomiting.
Doctors suggest transporting the young boy from a hospital in Baton Rouge to New Orleans for further testing, but Matthew has an episode that causes him to be unresponsive for several minutes. Regaining consciousness and moved to the new location, he is diagnosed with a congenital kidney problem.
Months later, Matthew confides with his parents that when he was very unconscious, he felt four angels take him to a bright white area that he believes was heaven. Later he learns two of these beings were his grandparents that he never met.
With conviction, Celeste and Matthew along with other family members believe Matthew was one of the few people chosen to get a glimpse of eternity although he never met or saw Jesus.
This story brought clarity and faith to many people involved, forging a closer relationship to God. Due to her son’s illness, the author founded the National Pediatric Blood Pressure Foundation and promotes the power of Christ in our lives.
Thanks to Cedar Fort, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.