The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life Beyond This World
by Kevin Malarkey, Alex Malarkey
Kelly - 2 crowns
I have wanted to read this book for a while now, so I took a 'leap of faith' last night and jumped right in. I have an affinity with the afterlife, it's something that has always interested me immensely and the synopsis of 'The Boy who came back from Heaven' really peaked my interest. However, I wasn't quite prepared for the God card to be played so prominently. That probably sounds totally off-kilter and a little hypocritical considering the subject matter, but as this story progresses you understand that the Malarkey family are devoted Christian's, with Christianity values playing a strong part in their children’s upbringing.
Alex at only six was well rehearsed with the Christian bible. He knew about Angels, Heaven, Hell, the Devil and how Jesus died for our sins. He was taught that when we die, our spirits leave our bodies and we go to a higher plane, back to our creator – we go home to God.
That’s all fine and well, and a beautiful notion but it made me doubt the true authenticity of the overall workings of this story. Could this story be an embellishment of a six-year-old child’s overactive imagination?
I don’t doubt that what happened with his recovery was a miracle, but I just felt, for me personally, the excessive religious references just made this read a little uncomfortable at times.
Whereas fully qualified Doctor’s were giving their professional diagnosis of Alex’ injuries, his family and close church family network were disputing those results and challenging every step when it came to his desired recovery. To have hundreds of people arrive at the hospital to pray for a helpless child is a heart-warming thought and proves that there are some truly caring and wonderful people in this world and I would be a cold-hearted wench if said that this didn’t affect me. I cried reading this book. I got goosebumps and at times it did make me feel at peace, but as a reader I just didn’t appreciate the all-consuming belief system being shoved down my throat at every given opportunity.
With that being said however, this book is based on a true story and regardless of how uncomfortable it made me feel at times, if anything it proves, with strong support and a little faith, life really is a beautiful thing.