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Showing 1-10 of 2,077 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,483 reviews
on February 9, 2012
At the same time that Dr. Mary Neal was drowning in a river in Chile, her husband, Bill, appeared to me in a dream. Bill is an old friend of mine from high school. We had shared many adventures and confidences over the years, but neither he nor any other friend had ever stared at me in a dream and woke me up. I shook it off at the time, only to learn a few days or weeks later why I had seen him.

The story of her experiences from the drowning, through the repeated revivals and her ultimate survival are the events upon which this book is anchored. But the meat and meaning of it are in the unfolding of her life as guided and protected by her God. I'm obviously no disinterested party. Skeptics can be reassured by my report that if it came from Mary's pen, it will be the truth and the whole truth. I doubt, however, that her or anyone's personal account can penetrate fully into the modern psyche. That is, into those who think that they need proof of what we call God. As an account of a brush with the Hereafter, here have been many others similar to it, and they're well enough known to be used as shorthand in bad films.

What Mary and those like her have experienced are gifts from somewhere, given not just to them. She gives it back to us disguised as a simple offering. She doesn't baffle the reader with melodrama, hyperbole, fantasy, or excessive adjectives. She tells her story in a concise & detailed way, with a voice of eloquent and unadorned sincerity. In this way, it's easy to read and difficult to put down, vividly descriptive and completely convincing, humbling and inspiring.

Fortunately for us, she kept waking up in the middle of the night until she couldn't keep from writing it down for us. The reason to read this remarkable account is witness, which is one of the few ways that we have left to hack a little hole in our jungle of unbelief.
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on December 5, 2016
To Heaven and Back is a moving memoir by Dr. Mary Neal. The book reflects on the miraculous events of Neal’s life and how they tied into her stirring spiritual journey.
The most gripping and page-turning sections of the book were when Dr. Neal described the unbelievable events in her life. She has several near-death experiences and faces many tragedies. Not only are the stories remarkable, but the connection back to God after every trial is inspiring. Her struggles served to strengthen her faith and see how truly present God is in our lives.
While the book has the extraordinary events of Dr. Neal’s lifetime included, it also addresses everyday common struggles faced by many of us today. Neal’s book focuses a great deal on the challenges she faced throughout her life with her relationships, career, and her family. With her busy and ambitious lifestyle, Neal found she often had a hard time knowing what God was to her, and where He fit into her life. If you find yourself struggling to know who God is and what he means to you, this book may resonate with you. I would specifically recommend this book to parents, as Dr. Neal references her experiences with parenting often throughout the book. The relatability of many of the struggles Dr. Neal describes throughout her life make it a book anyone can enjoy and take something away from.
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on December 4, 2016
The profound autobiography, To Heaven and Back, written by accomplished author, Mary C. Neal, MD played a tremendous role in the restoration of my faith. Neal impeccably describes her close encounters with God while addressing fluctuations in faith she experienced following each divine intervention. While the majority of readers have not experienced a near-death experience, many can relate to Neal’s raw, vulnerable portrayal of family life filled with love, loss, and the Lord. I recommend this memoir to individuals who may be struggling with their faith. The magnitude of God’s adoration for his children is unmistakable throughout the novel. To some, the content of this autobiography may seem farfetched or unrealistic, however, this account truly highlights the miraculous workings of God. Neal includes graphic details during the recollection of her accident, so individuals who tend to be squeamish may find parts of her novel disturbing. Currently, I am in school to become a registered nurse, so I find Neal’s orthopedic profession quite mesmerizing. The medical aspects scattered throughout the story only added to the intrigue I experienced. Accompanied by a myriad of emotions, this novel genuinely feels as though the Holy Spirit is interlaced between the paragraphs of each page.
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on May 16, 2017
I did not like this book because of the lack of focus on heaven and jumping around in the story of different people in Dr. Neal's life during her recovery and life. Unlike many other Heaven stories this book doesn't talk hardly at all about Heaven. Dr. Neal started with the beginning of her life and spent a third of the book on that part of her life before the accident. This book was well organized but too long and misleading to readers that are reading for the afterlife story. She also spends another third of the book talking about her relationship with many of her family members in separate sections. The title gives a false hope of the story and insight into heaven. I would suggest this to a person that is interested in the story of a doctor and her recovery from injure and how it affects her relationship this others. This could be helpful for someone that knows or is in a similar situation as Dr. Neal. If you want an easy read that engages you through the whole book this is not the book for you. Before ordering this book make sure you understand that it's a story of life not death.
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on December 5, 2016
The Book To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal is a book that will always keep you on your toes. Mary experienced many life ending moments and took those moments and wrote a book on it. From her own life to her child’s Mary is no doubt tested in her faith but stays strong through it all. This book is about Mary’s faith journey, and her fight through the bad experiences she has faced in her life. Reading this book has me thinking about my faith and situations that I’ve encountered. Trying to understand that maybe we’re here because others need us and there is reason why miracles happen to us.
When reading this book, you have to remind yourself that it was written by a doctor not a novelist. It’s a quick easy read, not sure if its quick because personally I couldn’t put it down or if it was just that easy to read. This book could be the start to someone’s faith story. Dr. Mary brings together science and her life as a doctor with faith and her life with Jesus. I would recommend this book to anyone who is questioning God and his abilities, questioning why God does certain things to us, and questioning themselves on why they are here still today.
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on December 5, 2016
Neal gives insight into her faith and relationship with Jesus Christ and goes on to tell how she died. She also shares her background about how she grew up and her love for her career. She explains almost every detail about that day, and describes what she felt as she was drowning. After her death, she reflects on how her life and faith were never going to be the same anymore. Neal is a neurosurgeon who places her life in Jesus’ hands as her purpose for life unravels before her.
I really enjoyed this book! I could sit and read it all in one sitting, engaged in every page. I would say it even deepened my faith and got me really excited for eternal life. It was interesting to read what life after death was like. Neal made sure she was reflective about everything, which brought perspective and understanding. I would recommend this book to those who want a good read, a meaningful read or if they’re wavering in their faith. Neal shares her struggle about finding her purpose and for those who are wondering what their purpose is, this is a good book to change a perspective or to find a perspective.
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on September 2, 2015
This was my second reading on NDE(near death experience). I found this book is basically composed of two parts; the author’s main personal event and a bit stretched memoir of her son’s death. The first part, which unravels her trip to Peru surviving a tragic accident, is interesting, yet relatively short. And the second part reads more like her self-healing or psychotherapeutic statement over the loss of her dear son. Ironically, I felt her emotions were even stronger in the latter part, where she still seems struggling with haunting memories surrounding her son’s death. Overall, I felt like half of the book is about the event that general readers, like me, might be interested. And the other half could have been better if kept private to her family, friends or even her personal diary. But don’t quote me wrong on this. The second part still unreservedly shows we are only humans, even after a colossal spiritual awakening.
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on September 18, 2014
I also had a similar drowning experience...with similar results. I didn't suffer from any of the injuries that the author did, other than the inhalation of water. I was swimming in shoulder deep water when my leg cramped up so badly that I was unable to swim or even stand up. Within a very short time the other leg cramped up also. I had always thought that the will to survive would enable the potential to swim to shore. I was very wrong !! The pain was so intense that with both legs drawn up...I was unable to do anything, but sink to the bottom. I was sure no one saw me go under. I began to panic when the oxygen was depleting from my body and all attempts to surface, swim or stand were useless. When I accepted that it was over and inhaled water...a sense of calmness and peace took over. I, too saw the white light and a feeling of total serenity. There was also a very reassuring voice telling me that I was going to be OK. It was beautiful !!! The next thing I knew...I was on the shore coughing, choking and sputtering with people yelling "Breathe !!!" I was OK !!! 18 years old...embarrassed...but alive !!!! I didn't tell many people about it because I didn't think they would believe me. Do I believe Dr. Deals story ??? ABSOLUTELY !!! I, also was told that it wasn't my time to go yet, and to go back and tell what happened. That was 50 yrs ago. It is so great to have people fulfilling their mission....and I am so thankful that I had and survived the experience. Believe ??? Thank you GOD ....for sparing and SAVING me. Amen
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on July 18, 2012
I will say that this book was well written and very easy to read. Unfortunately, like so many other NDE-type books out there, it fails to go in-depth regarding the questions and answers of what it's like after we die. I don't expect it to be a theology lesson, but let's face it, the whole reason most of us buy a book like this is to get a real glimpse of the afterlife. Without that component, it's just another basic biography. I was able to read the book in one sitting and she did answer a few questions about her afterlife experience but nothing that she hasn't already said in numerous interviews that can be found on the web. I was really hoping for something new that she hadn't already stated on television or radio. I feel that of all the NDE speakers out there, she seems to be one of the most credible and sincere in her account. If you want to save the cost of this book, I recommend just listening to her account given on a Coast-to-Coast interview which can be found on You Tube. Although the interview didn't go into her family life as much, all the basic info of her NDE can be heard in the radio interview.
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If you are fascinated by life after life, or NDE, you will probably want to read this book. Mary Neal is a doctor, and not exceptionally religious. On a trip, she drowned and was brought back to life. She describes what happened to her, what she saw-felt-thought during the near death experience. It changed her forever. This isn't a long book, but it's an invaluable part of NDE literature, especially as Neal is a trained doctor. I have had a co-worker, mother of a friend and colleague have near death experiences and there are commonalities. Neal says you don't have to die and come back to life to learn the lessons and gain the perspective these experiences provide. With books like this one, we can learn from her experience, and others like her who have had the life after life experience. 4.5 stars
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