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Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy Paperback – February 19, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341985
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (329 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"For anyone who wonders how they will come through a difficult time, Heaven Is Here proves that human beings were built to survive. Stephanie Nielson weaves a humbling and spell-binding tale of how her perfect life was upended on one beautiful afternoon. Her story is a powerful testament of the healing powers of an unyielding faith, the gift of family and the unshakeable love of her husband. As I read this book it was impossible for me not to think of the parallels to my own story and the tender mercies that can be found in the wake of disaster when everything you hold most dear becomes crystal clear."—Lee Woodruff, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, In an Instant

"How do you find your way back to happiness after your everyday life has been shattered? Stephanie Nielson paints a vivid picture of the happy life she possessed before a devastating plane crash-and how she built that happiness, again. Honest, insightful, and compulsively readable, this book gave me much food for thought."—Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project

"Moving and transformative, Heaven Is Here is one of those rare books that causes you to count your blessings, and it reminds you that even in face of devastating loss, you can rebuild to become stronger. Gripping from beginning to end."—Liz Murray, author of the New York Times bestseller, Breaking Night

"In Heaven Is Here, Stephanie chronicles in harrowing detail the unspeakable tragedy that would forever alter her life. But the real story is this: Through all the tears, pain, upheaval, sadness and struggles, it was Stephanie's faith---and the abundant love of her beautiful family---that brought her back to life. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a reminder of just how strong the human spirit is, and how instrumental faith can be in overcoming what life throws at us."—Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

About the Author

Stephanie Nielson was born and raised in Provo, Utah. In 2005, she began nieniedialogues.com, a popular blog about her life as a wife, mother, and Mormon. In 2008, Stephanie and her husband survived a near-fatal plane crash in which they were both severely burned. Stephanie has maintained a positive outlook in the aftermath of this ordeal and through her extensive rehabilitation, a journey she continues to share on her blog, which is visited by four million people every month. Her story has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and in People magazine. Stephanie lives in Provo with her husband and their four children.

More About the Author

I am Stephanie Nielson.
I am a mother of 4 (almost 5) beautiful children and of a wife of my Mr. Nielson.
This is the first book I wrote which is all about a traumatic airplane crash I was in the summer of 2008. I write about my injuries (80% burned) and recovery, and reconnecting with my children.
I write a blog {www.nieniedialogues.com} which I began in 2005. My blog is about my new wonderful life, dealing with a new body, new look, and reconnecting with my children and those I love.

Customer Reviews

Very inspiring story!
Susan Milne
It has forever changed the way i look at my life and i'm grateful Stephanie had the courage to share her story with all of us.
It has been a long time since I read a book that I couldn't put down.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Mayflower Girl TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I could not put down this book. I literally started it one afternoon, and finished it in the wee hours of the morning. I had recently become aware of Stephanie Nielson's story a few months ago. I had actually read a story about Mormon Mommy Bloggers on Salon, which lead me to her blog. I read a few posts and saw that she had been on Oprah...but kind of forgot about her until I saw this book come up on the Amazon Vine program. I'm not Mormon, but with all the attention on the LDS church recently, I've been trying to find out more. I figure the best way, rather than listen to the detractors, is to go to the actual church members as well as the church's website. It's been quite enlightening.

Stephanie's faith is woven throughout this book. I quite honestly do not believe she'd be here today if it wasn't for her strong faith in God (whom she and other Mormons call "Heavenly Father"). She firmly believes in the power of prayer--and the results of those beliefs come through--be it the strength to get through just one more therapy session or to handle the struggles with her children accepting her new limitations. When my husband was doing a surgical residency, the worst rotation was the burn unit. He would always come home very humbled after each day....and a full month in the burn unit was about all he could take. Stephanie was burned over 80% of her body when the small private plan she was riding in with her husband and his flying instructor crashed. Her husband was burned as well--I believe around 40-50%, as was the pilot/flight instructor (50%--did not survive.) I think the reason she survived were two fold--one her faith, and two her family. She was blessed with a large family as well as a network of church family which really came out to help her and her husband.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Half Fast Farmer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was vaguely familiar with the story before I read the book. I expected the book to be the story of the plane crash and her recovery. And it was. But it felt like more. Stephanie is completely honest about her struggles. She shares her feelings and experiences even when they are negative. She talks about feeling like her family would be better off without her. She was reluctant to see her kids again. She couldn't bear to have her husband visit for a while. It isn't all rainbows are joy. But the pain she shares makes her accomplishments and attitude even more wonderful. The way she invites you to understand her struggles gave me some insight into some of my own. It also reminded me how much I love my siblings and want my own children to have that close relationship.

I had planned to read the book over a couple of days but despite the heavy subject matter it was an easy read and I read it in one night. I didn't get teary at all until near the end her little boy, Ollie, told a stranger in a resturant to stop staring at his mom. It was hard not to be moved by the little boy's courage and all that family had been through.

Stephanie says that she has accepted living in a world that doesn't accept her. If she isn't accepted, I don't think it will be because of her scarred face. It will be because she reminds us that we have a choice about how we face adversity. She reminds us what marriages should be and how families should work. We can either reach for those goals ourselves or resent her for the reminder.

I am work a little harder. Be a little more grateful. And enjoy today more.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Bruce Kelly on March 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the most heartrending and emotionally engaging book I've read in a very long time. Stephanie Nielson speaks first-hand of the most unimaginable trauma the human body can endure--near death by fire--and makes it agonizingly real.

Heaven is Here was a difficult book to read, yet I could not put it down. I felt I was there with Stephanie at every moment, heart racing and stomach churning. From the terrifying plane crash and harrowing months of treatment and therapy through her slow and ongoing recovery, her journey became my journey.

What a wonderful gift Stephanie has given us with this terrifying and beautiful memoir. Her message of hope, determination, and love, in spite of the very worst of circumstances, has given me renewed joy in my own life as I realize how insignificant my petty complaints are and how boundless my blessings. Thank you Stepanie, what a blessing and inspiration you are to all of us!
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123 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Debra VINE VOICE on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It was definitely engaging and kept me interested. I appreciated her perspective on recovering from an experience like that - it gives you a lot more compassion for what people endure.

The writing was okay. Some of the transitions to quotes were forced and awkward. Some of the religious interjections also didn't flow well.

In terms of content, it was really repetitive. I think the editor could have been more ruthless about cutting down the length of the book, though it did give you a sense of how long the whole process was.

More than that what I found frustrating was the mixed nature of the message. It's slated as a story of hope and triumph, but the book as a whole is not introspective at all. It reads like a litany of "I didn't want to do X because it was too hard," "I did Y because it seemed like the right thing" or "Z person upset me because they wanted me to do something that was too hard."

Basically she writes that her family dragged her kicking and screaming down the road to recovery and it's only after things are mostly back to "normal" that she introspects about learning that life is not about what you look like but who you are. It's a captivating story, but the take home message isn't terribly deep and it definitely doesn't read like a story of triumph (if you want that check out "I didn't promise you a goody bag" by Jennifer G...). I'm not criticizing her life choices, but as a reading experience that was pretty frustrating, especially when it seemed like her decisions were damaging to herself and the people around her.
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